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Chrome gets true extension support

Chrome gets true extension support

The Chrome extension support has finally moved beyond simple user scripts wrapped in a container - although only in the developer build for now.

Google's open-source Chrome browser has finally received proper support for Firefox-style extensions in the latest developer build.

According to DownloadSquad, the currently available developer build of Chrome – along with the nightly release of Chromium – supports true extensions which are able to modify both the functionality and the appearance of the browser.

Whereas previous support was limited to scripts wrapped in a specific container format, this build represents the first step towards true Firefox-style add ons for Google's browser. The support is already looking pretty slick – unlike Firefox, Chrome doesn't require a restart when a new extension is installed before it can be used.

Sadly, the user experience is still pretty lacking – forgiveable from a developer build. Unlike Firefox, Chrome offers no easy way to manage extensions post-install – it's a question of browsing the the extension folder in Windows Explorer, with no in-browser management functionality available as yet. You'll also need to start the browser with the “--enable-extensions” switch, as the extensions feature is disabled by default.

A small selection of example extensions in the .CRX format is available from the Chromium Developer Documentation site, although the offerings are pretty dull at the moment. With working extension functionality already part of the developer build, however – and presumably heading to the stable release in the not-too-distant future – it's not too hard to see hackers working to port some of the more popular Firefox plugins ready for release.

Has Google answered your last complaint about Chrome, or does the company still have some work to do before you would consider switching browsers? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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ch424 15th May 2009, 11:32 Quote
Awesome stuff. I can't wait til chrome 2 becomes official. :)
Denis_iii 15th May 2009, 11:35 Quote
i can't wait until there is an extension framework so add-ins aren't browser specific
never happen
ch424 15th May 2009, 12:36 Quote
You mean greasemonkey?
sear 15th May 2009, 13:14 Quote
Give it Adblock Plus and I may just start using it more.
UncertainGod 15th May 2009, 13:47 Quote
As soon as I can have NoScript and Adblock Plus I'm moving browsers.
ChaosDefinesOrder 15th May 2009, 14:39 Quote
I can't wait until Chrome works in Windows 7 x64...
Cupboard 15th May 2009, 15:39 Quote
I would certainly consider moving to Chrome more permanently if the relevant addons got moved over. I do like Chrome but up until now the extensions have been holding it back.

Now all we need is full screen, which might be more difficult.
raGe82 16th May 2009, 23:17 Quote
hmm, waiting for Vimperator port for Chrome and certainly I'll use Chrome more often
Hamish 17th May 2009, 01:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
I can't wait until Chrome works in Windows 7 x64...

say what?

also if chrome extensions really take off and my requirements are filled by them i would definately move off FF, the core of chrome is much better imo
Zurechial 17th May 2009, 02:55 Quote
I'm curious to see what Google's own reaction to an Adblock-like extension for Chrome would be, since the majority of Google's revenue comes from their ads.
MajestiX 17th May 2009, 06:09 Quote
there's malicious ads and passive ads i don't think majority of people dislike google ads else why would you use google products
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