Mozilla has introduced its own WebExtensions API for developing Cross-Browser Extensions

July 11th, 2017

Just recently, Mozilla announced the release of its own new WebExtensions API to simplify the development of web browser extensions for Firefox.  Credentials have been given to the API for Google Chrome extensions as the inspiration for this new tool. Hopes are that the Mozilla API will soon become standardized too.


developing Cross-Browser Extensions


What is the objective of the new WebExtensions API?

The new tool utilizes HTML, JavaScript and CSS and will allow for an extension with a single code base to be used by numerous Internet browsers. Currently, it supports Firefox, Opera and Microsoft Edge. If it can become standardized, hopes are that there will be much wider sharing capabilities and customization options for the extensions among the different popular browsers.

Browser extensions are developed and used in order to expand and modify the functionality of a browser. These browser extensions are written in HTML, CSS or JavaScript. Some of the Firefox extensions are JavaScript based and used within the WebExtensions API, which is highly compatible with the Google Chrome Extension API.

More users are choosing to access and use extensions and apps across various browsers, platforms and operating systems, which is why Mozilla has made this step ahead – to promote easier compatibility.

Mozilla hopes that by introducing this tool, which enables developers to write one single codebase which can work on multiple browsers, more developers will become interested in creating cross-browser extensions which can be used in Firefox and the other leading Internet browsers. This will lead to an easier and better customization of the browsers by the different users, depending on their needs and preferences.

The goal is to promote the standardization of browser extensions based on HTML, JavaScript and CSS in order to make them easily accessible and useable across the different Internet browser platforms.


How to learn more about this API?

Along with the new tool, Mozilla has published a wide variety of online resources to assist the extension developers in using the new cross-browser extension making tool, including a number of blogs, instructions and tutorials on MDN.

Also, a web-ext CLI tool has been introduced especially for developers who prefer using the command line for their extensions. There are options for testing different Chrome extensions for Firefox as well.

This is good news for browser extension developers around the world, who are challenged with the increasing demand for cross-compatibility by the users. Mozilla has provided this tool in order to simplify this complicated process and allow for the development of extensions which can be used in different browsers with only a few minor changes made to their code.


How to develop your own cross browser add on?

If you want an even easier way to develop a working and useful cross browser extension, compatible with the most popular Internet browsers, you can use the Cross Browser Extension Framework developed and offered by Besttoolbars, which makes the development of browser extensions compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer easy, efficient and at an affordable price. You can modify an existing add on or create a completely new one with the expert help of the developers from the company, or use their unique framework for developing a cross compatible add on by yourself.

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