Mozilla explains how Firefox extensions will follow Chrome
Google Chrome 88 introduced the Manifest V3 API for Extensions, which changes how extensions work in the browser. Mozilla has now outlined its plans to incorporate these changes into Firefox.
Manifest V3 is a major update to the Google Chrome Extension API, which is replacing the older Manifest V2 technology — Google plans to block older extensions in January 2023. Most of the changes are important only to extension developers, but there are a few key differences. Google replaced the
webRequest API used by content blockers (such as uBlock Orgin) with a safer
declarativeNetRequest API, which limits the number of rules. This prevents ad blockers and other privacy tools from having long lists of domains to block or filter, which leads to criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the developer of uBlock Originand many more.
Mozilla Firefox has a custom implementation of Chrome’s extension API called WebExtensions, which is why so many browser extensions are available for both browsers. Mozilla has now explained how it plans to handle Manifest V3 support, which will be required for extensions to continue to support Chrome and Firefox with the same code. “For Mozilla, this is a long-term bet on a standards-driven future for WebExtensions,” the company said in a blog post.
Firefox will soon support all new features and APIs introduced in Manifest V3, to maintain parity with Chrome, but Mozilla retains some of the features that Google put the brakes on. Firefox extensions will still be able to use the old
webRequest API, so you don’t have to worry about content blocking tools breaking down. However, Manifest V3 extensions on Firefox will still have the same permissions model as the new Chrome extensions, so you can still easily allow and deny permission to certain sites.
Mozilla aims to have support for Manifest V3 complete by the end of 2022, which should keep Firefox’s extension ecosystem alive and well – with Chrome completing its Manifest V3 transition long before Firefox leaves the Firefox versions of many discontinued extensions.
Source: Mozilla Add-ons Community Blog