Firefox To Support Chrome, Opera Extensions

Mozilla, the maker of open-source Web browser Firefox, is implementing a new extension application programming interface (API) that it said will increase the browserEUs compatibility with the Chrome and Opera browsers. The new Blink-compatible API, called WebExtensions, is aimed at making it easier for developers to create extensions across multiple browsers, rather than having to create different versions for different browsers.

The WebExtensions API will allow extensions code for Chrome and Opera to run on Firefox with only minimal changes. Mozilla said it also hopes to have WebExtensions run on MicrosoftEUs Edge browser.

"We would like add-on development to be more like Web development: The same code should run in multiple browsers according to behavior set by standards, with comprehensive documentation available from multiple vendors," Mozilla said in a blog post.

Some Not Happy

According to Mozilla, WebExtensions will behave like other Firefox add-ons. With the new API, extension developers should be able to make the same extension available on Firefox and Chrome "with a minimal number of changes to repackage for each platform," the company said.

WebExtensions is currently available in the Developer Edition of Firefox 42. Mozilla has begun talking with other browser vendors to start the process of standardizing at least some of the API, and will continue to release more information and details about WebExtensions as they become available.

Mozilla said it will solicit feedback from the development community, and will continue to develop and extend the WebExtensions API "to support as much of the functionality needed by the most popular Firefox extensions as possible."

Some feedback has already emerged from the developer community, with some criticizing Mozilla for turning Firefox into a clone of Chrome instead of leaving the browser as it was with the XPCOM interface and XUL markup language.

Mozilla countered that developers who already support Chrome extensions will benefit from...

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