Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft’s Edge browser have teamed up to improve the extension, which should mean that the user’s extension will work better. And there is a better security foundation to protect users from malicious software.
Last Friday, these teams announced a discussion and development forum at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to develop standards for extensions. This forum, the WebExtensions Community Group, provides engineers with a place to establish a unified, more secure core foundation for extensions.
The team also hopes to make it easier for developers to write extensions because a shared standard will help eliminate differences between browsers.
When talking about their goals, the community group members said: “Our goal is to identify common ground, make [browser] more consistent, and set a direction for future development. There is currently no public timetable for the release of draft standards. Or include it in the browser.”
Extensions are essential for browsers on personal computers. These extensions can block ads, integrate with password managers, strip off the code that tracks users on the Internet, and so on. They are very versatile.
Google’s Chrome browser is the most widely used browser in the world. However, the differences between browsers mean that extension developers are unlikely to support other browsers. Standardization should make browsers consistent to reduce the difficulty for developers. There will still be differences between browsers, but the community group plans to ensure that there is a common core capability.
One thing will not change, and that is how users get extensions. Each browser manufacturer has its own extension download site and review process.
The group’s charter states: “For developers, it should be relatively simple to migrate extensions from one browser to another, and browsers should support extensions on various devices and operating systems .”