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Forming the WebExtensions Community Group

We’re excited to announce the launch of the WebExtensions Community Group (WECG).

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.

Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are initiating this community group, and we welcome other browser makers, extension developers, and interested parties to join this effort!

What’s our goal

This community group seeks to align on a common vision for browser extensions and to work towards future standardization. Specifically, we plan to:

  • 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.

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.

Using the existing extensions model and APIs supported by Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari as a foundation, we will start by working on a specification. We aim to identify common ground, bring implementations into closer alignment, and chart a course for future evolution.

What we’re not doing

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.

In addition, we don’t plan to specify, standardize or coordinate around extension signing or delivery. Each browser vendor will continue to operate their extension store fully independently, with their own technical, review, and editorial policies.

Where to learn more

Take a look at our full charter. Check out our GitHub to follow along with the work. Once we have the first Editor’s Draft of the specification, we’ll be inviting the broader extensions community to contribute to it through Github issues and pull requests.

— Chairs Timothy Hatcher and Simeon Vincent; editors Tomislav Jovanovic and Mukul Purohit

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