It is quite difficult to create and manage browser add-ons that are supposed to support more than one. Although other browsers, namely Firefox, Edge, and Opera, have already introduced a browser extension to the Chrome API. In addition to this, each bowser individually incorporates new features and does not necessarily adopt Google API updates.
Nonetheless, several browsers, including Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and Google, are teaming up to form a community organization WebExtensions that strives to standardize APIs and its functionality across participating browsers.
In a recent update, W3C confirmed the launch of The WebExtensions Community Group (WECG). The basis for building this community group is provided by Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Apple. However, these browsers have officially declared that other browser builders, extension planners, and those who have the potential to expand are also welcome to participate.
The community group can easily lay the groundwork by providing a uniform base of capabilities, APIs, and licensing. API standardization and consistency will approach the structural path on which net capacity building is based. Browsers won’t be forced to ignore proprietary features or APIs.
According to the blog post, all other browser developers will need to use their browsers individually and manage their extension market in the form of technology reform, overhaul and release.
Chrome’s extension API has been calling the word WebExtensions for several years. Opera considered this name in 2013 when it transitioned to a Chrome-based browser. Likewise, in 2017, Firefox after Opera switched to the API. Meanwhile, Safari browser is the latest to access API support in 2020.
After accessing the support, each browser is allowed to standardize functionality as it sees fit, as the standardization process now allows browser developers to do so. Authorized APIs and licenses vary to a greater extent for each browser. Vivaldi and the latest version of Microsoft Edge are chrome based browsers and support Chrome API with slight modifications.
The challenge for WebExtensions Community Group (WECG) is to make it easier for developers to create extensions. To achieve this, participating browser vendors should use this community to provide a consistent performance model, APIs, and permissions. WECG also intends to improve the overall stability of extensions by implementing a system that is both efficient and secure.
While the availability of a single WebExtensions platform API is desirable, there are some initiatives that the organization believes are beyond its purview.
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