The four Internet companies Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and Apple want to work together on a standard for browser extensions. The goal is to make it easier for developers to write extensions. Uniform interfaces are to be offered for this.
The providers of Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari recently merged to form the WebExtensions Community Group (WECG). The group was founded within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and would like to work with developers in order to be able to draft a standard. The add-on developers should be able to rely on consistent functions, interfaces, and authorizations.
The WECG would like to endeavor to maintain compatibility with existing extensions and associated interfaces. The extension developers should be given the opportunity to write programs that save energy and do not have a negative impact on performance.
With the project, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, and Apple want to prevent that numerous extensions are only available for a certain browser. Due to the different APIs and core functions, it can be difficult for developers to offer existing add-ons for other browsers.
No plans for a joint store
As a first step, the WebExtensions Community Group would like to create a uniform specification for browser extensions. Companies can then build on this in the future. However, there is currently no plan for a common add-on store that all browsers can use. Instead, each provider will operate its own store and provide the extensions for download themselves.
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