IT|Jun 6, 2021

They work together! Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla will standardize browser extensions

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The major browser providers yesterday announced a WebExtensions Community Group in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). There, they will "collaborate to develop a common extension platform for browsers".

chrome-extension.jpg

WebExtensions specification
Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari), Microsoft (Edge) and Mozilla (Firefox) "have a common vision for browser extensions and are working to achieve future standardization". This involves producing a WebExtensions specification, API and permission model. Other goals they set are improving performance and security as well as preventing abuse and privacy.

 

If they succeed, it will make it easier to develop extensions that suit all browsers. They will use existing APIs as a foundation. More information is available in the charter (see source below).

 

Browsers will keep their expansion stores
The group will not create a common signing or delivery system for extensions. Each browser will continue to have its own extension stores with independent "technical review and editorial guidelines".

 

The group does not aim to specify all aspects of browser extensions or existing implementations. They want browsers to continue to innovate and launch APIs that can improve the platform for browser extensions.

The four invite "other browser manufacturers and developers of extensions - as well as interested" to join the group.

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