Best Practices

Follow these best practices when writing or reviewing userscript code.

DOM manipulation

Use addEventListener instead of “onevent”

Avoid setting “onevent” values on HTML elements, such as onclick. Instead, use addEventListener. This allows multiple addons to register the same event on the same element, without conflicting.
It is still valid to use “onevent”, but only for elements that were created by the same addon that is registering the event.
In all cases, avoid setting “onevent” HTML attributes, for example element.setAttribute("onclick", "don't do this").

// Don't do this:
document.querySelector(".remix-button").onclick = () => {
  prompt("Are you sure you want to remix?");
// Do this instead:
document.querySelector(".remix-button").addEventListener("click", () => {
  prompt("Are you sure you want to remix?");

Avoid using innerHTML

Avoid using innerHTML. Use innerText or textContent instead.
Other APIs that can potentially lead to XSS vulnerabilities should be avoided too, such as insertAdjacentHTML, outerHTML, document.write(), etc.

// Don't do this:
document.querySelector(".sa-remix-button").innerHTML = `<span>Remix ${projectTitle}</span>`;
// Do this instead:
const span = document.createElement("span");
span.textContent = `Remix ${projectTitle}`;

Hide elements instead of removing them

Avoid calling .remove() on HTML elements, which in extreme cases, can cause the project page to crash.
Addons may only use it for elements they themselves created, in specific situations.

// Don't do this:
// Do this instead:
document.querySelector(".remix-button").style.display = "none";

// Or do this, with help from a userstyle:

Only use waitForElement when necessary

Avoid using the API if the element is guaranteed to exist. It will still work, and performance will not be heavily impacted, but it might confuse other developers that are reading the code. The usage of waitForElement should usually mean that there is at least 1 scenario where the element doesn’t exist at that execution point.
For example, it’s not necessary to use waitForElement when searching for forum posts, unless the userscript was declared with "runAtComplete": false. In those cases, simply use document.querySelectorAll() normally.

Use element.closest() instead of abusing parentElement

Avoid overusing parentElement when traversing an element’s ancestors. Instead, use element.closest(), which works very similarly to element.querySelector().

// Don't do this:
reportButton.addEventListener("click", (event) => {
  const commentElement =;
// Do this instead:
reportButton.addEventListener("click", (event) => {
  const commentElement =".comment");

JavaScript best practices

Use modern JavaScript

  • Prefer newer APIs, such as fetch() over XMLHttpRequest.
  • Never use == for comparisons. Use === instead.
  • Use optional chaining if an object can sometimes be null.
    For example, document.querySelector(".remix-button")?.textContent.
  • Use for ... of loops or .forEach().
    Avoid C style loops like for (let i = 0; i < arr.length; i++).

Only use “let” over “const” if the variable may be reassigned

We usually use camelCase to name variables, no matter if they’re declared with “let” or “const”.
For constant strings or numbers, we usually use SNAKE_CASE.

Here’s an example:

let actionCounter = 0;

const remixButton = document.querySelector(".remix-button");

const DEFAULT_ZOOM = 1.20;

People reading your code may assume that a variable that was declared through the “let” keyword might be reassigned at some other point of the script. If that’s not the case, use the “const” keyword instead.
Remember that in JavaScript, declaring an object or an array as a “const”, does not mean its values are frozen. Values in the object can still be changed, even if the variable itself cannot be reassigned.

Do not set global variables

Avoid setting properties on the global window object, unless you are polluting a global function such as fetch().
If multiple addons need to share information or functions between each other, create a JS module file and import it from both userscripts.

// Don't do this:
window.isDarkMode = true;

Do not declare functions outside of the default export

There’s no reason to declare functions outside the export default async function(){} function. JavaScript allows functions to be declared inside other functions.

You may move functions to separate JS module files (which aren’t declared as userscripts in the addon manifest) if appropriate, but keep in mind that those imported files won’t have access to the addon object, unless you expose a setup function that accepts it as an argument, and call the function in the userscript entry point.

Do not unpollute functions

Multiple addons might want to pollute the same function, such as Scratch VM methods, XMLHttpRequest, fetch() or FileReader().
In those cases, one of the userscripts will be polluting the real function, while the others will be polluting functions which were already polluted themselves. If, for example, the first userscript that polluted decides to unpollute (for example, by doing window.fetch = realFetch), then all other functions in the “pollution chain” are also lost, which is unexpected.
For this reason, functions should not be unpolluted. Instead, pass the arguments to the original function.

const oldDeleteSprite = vm.deleteSprite;
const newDeleteSprite = function (...args) {
  // ...

addon.self.addEventListener("disabled", () => {
  // Don't do this:
  vm.deleteSprite = oldDeleteSprite;
// Do this instead:
const oldDeleteSprite = vm.deleteSprite;
const newDeleteSprite = function (...args) {
  if (addon.self.disabled) return oldDeleteSprite.apply(this, args);
  // ...