The makers of the world’s most popular web browsers are teaming up to improve the security and usability of browser extensions.
“With multiple browsers adopting a broadly compatible model for extensions in the last few years, the WebExtensions Community Group (WECG) is excited to explore how browser vendors and other interested parties can work together to advance a common browser extension platform,” the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced. “Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are initiating this community group, and we welcome other browser makers, extension developers, and interested parties to join this effort.”
The new community group will work towards standardizing how extensions install and work across different web browsers using the existing extensions model and APIs supported by Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. “Specifically, we plan to make extension creation easier for developers by specifying a consistent model and common core of functionality, APIs, and permissions; [and] outline an architecture that enhances performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse.”
The first step, they say, is to create a specification. Then, it can chart a course for future evolution. There are, however, no plans for a single extension store that all browsers will use. Instead, each browser vendor will continue to operate their own extension stores independently.