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Opera calls for all browser extensions standard


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One sample Opera extension sends addresses to a map site.

OSLO, Norway--With extensions coming to Opera 11, the Norwegian browser maker says it's time to consider making the technology a standard for all browsers.

That's because Opera 11 extensions will use the same collection of Web page technologies--HTML for page contents, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for formatting, JavaScript for processing--as extensions in Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari 5, and Mozilla Firefox's upcoming Jetpack. The approach generally makes it easier for at least lightweight extensions, and browser technologies handle the interface.

"We think extensions are ripe for standardization," Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software's chief technology officer, said at a press conference here.

A standard for extensions holds the promise of easier development for programmers, as they wouldn't have to rewrite their extensions for each browser. However, there are obstacles, including the facts that the Web technology extension approach is relatively new, and different browsers expose different interfaces to the extensions.

Opera hasn't yet begun talking to other browser makers about the idea, though, Lie said in an interview.

"It's still a bit too early for that, but we're indicating willingness to do so," he said. "We think it would be fairly easy to write up that specification, if there is willingness."

Extensions come with the possibility of an app store, a very trendy mechanism for technology companies to keep users in their orbit these days.

Opera already has an add-on store where people can find the more independent applications, called widgets, and elements for the Opera Unite technology. Opera plans to use the same infrastructure for offering extensions, Chief Development Officer Christen Khrogh said in an interview.

Of course, Opera also has a cousin of Opera 11 for mobile phones, Opera Mobile. Opera co-founder John von Tetzchner wouldn't say whether it, too, would get extension abilities.

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The idea is good from the user's and developers point of view, but will the browser makers like it? Cause one of the main reason behind Mozilla floating is it's addons.

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If it gets adopted by all the others, Mozilla would be forced to comply. Still a long shot though.

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If Opera comes to support the addons I use with Firefox then there will be no me reason on earth for to use Firefox! I pray for that day to come :D

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If Opera comes to support the addons I use with Firefox then there will be no me reason on earth for to use Firefox! I pray for that day to come :D

agreed... same with google

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I think that, if this standardization ever does come to fruition, there may no longer exist a challenge to build the better browser; just as it has been for years now. I believe it would level the playing field, and could very well handcuff the developers if they now had to conform to standardization. It brings to mind a parallel in the sense that it's almost equivalent to the bad Socialist-type of decisions President Obama has been trying to force-feed us here in the USA since day one. And whilst I have no ill will towards the fine folks in Oslo, Norway, I still have to say, "No thank you, Opera; you're on your own."

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Wait... what is Opera? Just kidding lol. Opera WOULD BE the one to suggest this. That way more people actually might use their product. :rolleyes:

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Guess standardization would tend to result in a lacklustre experience (devoid of variety) for the end-User - the Surfer and lack in competitiveness as far as the browser Developers are concerned. :think:

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but wouldn't that make all browsers vulnerable to an exploit that would work through an extension? not that there really has been any before (at least i recall none), but if all the browsers will use same extensions then hackers would probably target them to bring down (or otherwise maliciously use) a lot of ppl at the same time.

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Uhhmm.. NO.. and I can assure you IF the direction is taken, there will be better choices for browsers SUDDENLY appear... Standardize the extensions and typical elements... You going to simply wind up with all clones.. with different branding.. like all of the spin-offs we have now... what is going to be the only one left in tact.. and I think that in that effect we would be looking at technically monopolizing the field.. all for the sake of the 'EXTENSION'...

Sounds like a great idea.. right for Opera Extension Devs.. but really.. it limits the individuality and ability that some extensions will always a have over the formulated methods or Standards compliance.. which for some f these browsers would need -regressive action regardless how they play up current projects in which they are ignorant of.. in their true form..

NO..

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