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This is how Mozilla Firefox plans to counter Google Chrome

Mozilla is now in the process of making another major change to its popular browser Firefox. The company announced on Friday that it would overhaul the way developers can create add-ons, allowing greater compatibility for extensions built for Google Chrome.mozilla-firefox-windows-10

Mozilla is now adopting a new extension API that will be largely compatible with the one currently in use by other Blink-based browsers like Chrome and Opera. This WebExtensions API will ensure that developers will only have to make a few small changes to their code for their add-on to run on Firefox.

“This modern and JavaScript centric API has a number of advantages, including supporting multi-process browsers by default and mitigating the risk of misbehaving add-ons and malware” Mozilla explained in a blog post.

According to Mozilla’s Kev Needham, “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.”

Developers always had a hard time writing for Firefox as the company is famous for using XPCOM and XUL technologies for building user interfaces, which allowed the browser to be written mainly in JavaScript. The new model will be phased out over next 12 to 18 months, and many developers are not happy about the change. The permissive model will be no longer be an option for extension developers.

“Reviewing is a mostly manual, human process today, and moving an extension from the initial submission to passing a full review that meets our guidelines can be a time-consuming process that can take weeks or months.” Needham writes.

Developers will also need to have their extensions reviewed and approved by Mozilla before they can be made available for download. The company hopes that the switch to new API will streamline the review process and bring the time from a month down to as little as five days.

It’ll be interesting to see how this move will impact the extension eco-system. For the most part, though, a unified add-on ecosystem that allows developers to write the code once and have it run on both Firefox and Chrome with just a few minor modifications is a win-win situation for both developers and end users.

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About Sergio Wallache

The young-turk of the team, he is responsible for reporting all the rumors and leaks related to gadgets and software. Other than collecting valuable information on trending rumors, he also likes to write about social media and IT security.

One comment

  1. Firefox is now crashing so often I don't use it much anymore. "Scripting Errors" have to be fixed before it is viable again.

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