Chrome Extensions will soon be able to run on Firefox as Mozilla announces it will be implementing a new extension API that is more compatible with Chrome, Opera, and possibly Microsoft Edge.
This is great news for Users as there will probably be more add-os available, but pain for developers as they need to make major modifications their add-ons to make them compatible.
So what is FireFox planning?
Mozilla is currently in the process of replacing its current extension APIs and use a new one called WebExtensions. The new WebExtensions will use the same technology used by Chrome and Opera and hence add-ons will be more cross-browser compatibility.
The change will take effect starting September 22, 2015, and over a span of 12 to 18 months. In the end, Firefox will drop all support for XUL and XPCOM technologies which are currently used in the browser.
Mozilla gave developers notice of the change in a blog post giving them ample time to start work on their add-ons now. If a developer fails to update their add-on, it will not run on the new FireFox at the end of the timeline.
The new API will be included in FireFox 43 which is expected on December 15. Starting December 15, all the unmodified extensions will have support for six months after-which all compatibility will be removed.
The company is well aware that FireFox-only developers will be quite hurt in the process, but in the long run it will pay off. There will be “considerable effort” on their parts but in the end developers will get their extension to port between Chrome, Opera, FireFox (Of course) and Microsoft Edge.
All this new changes are also in part due to a new version of FireFox, which will be using a method called Electrolysis.
This will separate the browser into multiple processes (sandbox) and hence lower the risk of exposing users to malware whilst increase the browsing speed.
This action by Mozilla will be trouble for Firefox developers but just in the short term, whereas, for the users, this is great in the entire run, jog, walk or whatever.