Google Delivers Plan for Chrome Extensions


Recently, I’ve done a couple of posts on the growing market share of and impressive performance in speed tests of Google’s open source Chrome browser. Even though Chrome is a very fast browser, though, and even though its ability to load pages and applications in distinct tabs without crashing the whole browser is attractive, it still doesn’t have the extremely useful universe of extensions that Firefox has.

In answer to many questions on the topic, Google programmer Aaron Boodman has put up a post confirming work on extensions for Chrome.

Boodman’s post includes a link to a design document intended for developers who want to build extensions for Chrome. Many people who had been wondering if it would be easy to fork extensions for Firefox to Chrome’s Chromium core may be encouraged by attention paid in the design document to “users coming from other browsers who are used to certain extensions that they can’t live without.” The design document also cites several popular Firefox extensions as examples of good add-ons for Chrome, including ForecastFox, Adblock, and many more.

“The system should be able to support an open-ended list of APIs over time, such as toolbars, sidebars, content scripts (for Greasemonkey-like functionality), and content filtering (for parental filters, malware filters, or adblock-like functionality),” the design document adds. The plan calls for bookmarking, content enhancement, content filtering, download helper and other types of extensions.

This is good news, and more evidence of how much of the innovation in browsers is being driven on the open source front by Firefox and Chrome. Indeed, there already is an initial extension for Chrome–a fork of the Firefox extension URL Helper. I expect that a lot of the most popular Firefox extensions will show up in versions for Chrome next year, which will create a more level playing field between these two browsers.



I had always been a die hard firefox user up till the time chrome came out. I loved the speed and after spending some time with it I’ve grown to not need a majority of the extensions. I’ve also gotten use to use good old fashioned bookmarklet to do some tasks the extensions use to do.

That being said, when extensions do come out I’d probably look to use adblock plus and greasemonkey (the manual setup now is a pain) and nothing else.

Chris Riehl

Is it just me or has anyone made their Firefox too heavy like I did. Don’t get me wrong I “need” every add-on I installed but I use Chrome when I want to take it old school and just browse with a lite and very quick browser. I hope they don’t come out with add-ons so I won’t be tempted.


I am ambivalent. On the one hand, I’m a FF addon junkie with 20+ installed. On the other hand, I feel more and more strongly that addons have become a crutch for a lack of advanced web standards. Wouldn’t it be preferable if a service just ran perfectly in the browser with no addons? Certainly the over-reliance on toolbars and other addons is a barrier to adoption in the mass market. I think this is why Google decided to release Chrome without addons: to make a statement.

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