Major tech giants, including Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft have announced a WebExtensions Community Group (WECG). The announcement was made during the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and a blog post was published later detailing their intentions.
The goal of this group is to band together and work on improving browser extensions. This effort may lead to better extension support for some of your favorite browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox).
Extensions have become crucial to the overall browsing experience, so it is hard to imagine working without them. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla founded this community group and welcome other browser makers, extension developers, and interested parties to join this effort.
What does WECG want to achieve with browser extensions?
This group aligns on a common vision for browser extensions and work towards future standardization. This effort will simplify extension development by specifying a consistent model and common core functionality, APIs, and permissions.
They plan to do so by outlining an architecture that enhances performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse. However, each browser vendor will continue to operate their extension store fully independently, with their own technical, review, and editorial policies.
The plan is to use the existing extensions models and APIs supported by Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari as a foundation. The group will then use it as a base and start working on a specification. They aim to identify common ground, bring implementations into closer alignment, and chart a course for future evolution.
We are not aiming to specify every aspect of the web extensions platform or existing implementations. We want browsers to keep innovating and shipping APIs that may serve as the basis for further improvement of the web extensions platform.Community blog
Opera, Firefox, and Safari have all adopted Chrome extension API over the years. However, all browsers have slightly different permissions and available APIs. This move to standardize all APIs and functionality across all browsers will be greatly beneficial to the developers. As a result, more and more extensions will be made available across all browsers, and work will become more productive.