Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla launch W3C WebExtensions group
Apple has joined forces with Google, Mozilla and Microsoft to quietly form the W3C WebExtensions Community Group (WECG).
Towards a shared browser extensions architecture
The group aims to create a common browser extension platform, making it so much easier to use these things across all the browsers and devices you work with during the day.
The move should also breathe a lot more life into the web apps market, which was where Apple originally thought apps would exist in the early days of iPhone.
Apple, Google, Mozilla and Microsoft have launched the group together and hope to attract browser and extension developers and other interested parties to participate. The group is chaired by Simeon Vincent (Google) and Timothy Hatcher (Apple)
What the group plans
The group’s stated targets are as follows:
Make extension creation easier for developers by specifying a consistent model and common core of functionality, APIs, and permissions.
Outline an architecture that enhances performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse.
The project will make use of a commonly shared set of HTML and W3C TAG design principles. Which I think should mean web apps that feel like apps. Or as the group puts it: “User-centered, compatibility, performance, security, privacy, portability, maintainability, and well-defined behavior.”
The first step will be to develop a shared specification and to figure out common ground between members of the group. The group stresses that it does not seek to define every aspect of web extensions and that unique browser-specific innovation will be maintained.
A step toward better web apps?
“We will specify a model, permissions, and a common core of APIs for web browser extensions (hereafter WebExtensions). By specifying the APIs, functionality, and permissions of WebExtensions, we can make it even easier for extension developers to enhance end user experience, while moving them towards APIs that improve performance and prevent abuse,” the group’s charter hosted on GitHub explains.