Google, Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla are the companies behind the main web browsers. Now, they have driven the creation of the WebExtensions Community Group (WECG) with a clear goal — making extension creation easier for developers along with enhancing its performance and security.
After sheathing the weapon of healthy competition, the WECG has issued a statement — “With multiple browsers adopting a broadly compatible model for extensions in the last few years, the WECG is excited to explore how browser vendors and other interested parties can work together to advance a common browser extension platform.”
Their objectives are clear, and they divide them into two branches. First, to facilitate the process of creating extensions for developers by providing a coherent model and a common core of functionalities, APIs and permissions. And second, create an architecture that improves performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse.
“Our work will be guided by a common set of HTML and W3C TAG design principles: user-centered, compatibility, performance, security, privacy, portability, maintainability, and well-defined behavior.” The intention of WECG is not to start from scratch, something that would be really expensive for both browser and extension developers.
They want to use the existing extension model and APIs supported by Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari as a foundation. And from there, go forward. “We aim to identify common ground, bring implementations into closer alignment, and chart a course for future evolution.”
This declaration of intent has also been accompanied by a clarification on what WECG will not do in the matter. “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. Each browser vendor will continue to operate their extension store fully independently, with their own technical, review, and editorial policies.”