Mozilla Firefox Launches Web Extensions API to Support Chrome and Opera Extensions

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Level 64
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Honorary Member
Top Poster
Apr 25, 2013
What Firefox has been thinking of is, it is planning to bring in Google chrome's web browser extensions to support the features of Mozilla Firefox.
The parent company of Firefox i. e. Mozilla Foundation has decided to update their add-on and extension infrastructure, making Firefox more capable and user-friendly.
Ranked number three, Firefox browser is seemingly thriving to attain the first position. Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are the ones ahead of it, leading to desktops and mobile devices altogether.
The move will help Firefox in various ways like:
  • Integration of new technologies like Electrolysis and Servo
  • Protection from Adware and Spyware
  • Shortening the time it takes to review add-ons
Functionalities brought by Mozilla

According to Mozilla, functionalities that are being brought with the help of modifications in Firefox Add-ons are:
  • Introducing a Powerful add-on WebExtensions API
  • Add-on and extension for signing in
  • Deprecation of XUL, XPCOM, and the permissive add-on model
  • Multi-process Firefox and Add-ons by implementing the Electrolysis project
WebExtension Application Programming Interface (API), which is widely used by the Chrome and Opera browsers for developing plugins that can be accessed across various platforms.
With this API, developers should be able to enable Firefox to serve as a cross-platform browser too, by making the same extension available on Firefox and Chrome with a minimal number of changes.
Also, it would be available on the (AMO) or through the developers website. A preview release of WebExtensions is now available in Firefox Nightly, which is a Developer Edition form.
In multi-process Firefox (which is also known as Electrolysis or 'e10s'), the extension's code will run in a different process from content, unlike the current scenario, where a single operating system process contains all the information of the web browser content.

Tighten up Security

A dig into security is also taken with all the other developments; a mandatory extension signing is coming to Firefox, which is a solution and an escape from malicious developers in the world taking advantage of others.
A major step taken by Mozilla is to deprecate add-ons that depend on XUL, XPCOM, and XBL; the fundamental technologies of Firefox.
Browser extensions expand the functionality of a web browser by making them more interactive, thus user friendly and help protect the user's privacy while browsing the web.

Mozilla said, "We want to emphasize our add-on development community and work with you in designing new APIs, porting extensions, and creating innovative new add-ons that make Firefox great."

Mozilla promised to keep us informed with any more developments in this project and how can it help us.
For in-depth Details about what more Mozilla has to say, visit their official blog where they made the announcement.
Therefore, the answer to the question being raised in the beginning is, by being more capable Firefox is going to impress its users though the developers may face a tough time developing new functionalities.


Level 9
Jul 16, 2014
Why use Firefox and not Chrome then? As soon as the "chromefication" of FF is completed via Web Extensions it basically has zero advantages over Chrome itself. Mozilla is killing themselves with their absolutely horrible decisions like changing the interface every few versions, addon signing, ads on the new tab page and now they are dropping their last real advantage over Chrome - the in-depth customizability. What's next? Switching to the blink engine like Opera did? :confused:
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