- Mozilla has begun accepting Manifest v3-based web browser extensions for signing, which are expected to be supported in Firefox 109.
- Manifest v3, which sets the capabilities of the newest generation extensions, has caused some controversies since it takes away some features.
- Google, on the other hand, is pushing forward to fully transition into Manifest v3-based browser extensions.
Browser extensions, which have been around for several years to improve our web browsing experience, are receiving improvements for their capabilities. They work like little applications on the browser through a set of APIs and those sets are called Manifest. Those sets of APIs determine the capabilities of the browser extensions.
There are concerns
Manifest v3 (Mv3) is the latest generation API set for web browser extensions, bringing improvements on top of Mv2. However, it also reduces some of the capabilities in some ways, especially the ones that adblocking extensions have to utilize. According to Google, the deprecated capabilities are also the ones that cause security risks; making malicious extensions possible.
Electronic Frontier Foundation has stated its concerns about Mv3; the organization thinks that Mv3 changes will not stop malicious extensions but will hurt innovation. Manifest v2 is currently being phased out to fully embrace Manifest v3; Google put a deadline of January 2023 to make them stop working, however, it looks like they have expanded the process with several steps.
Signing has begun
Now, Mozilla begins accepting Manifest v3-based extensions from developers for signing them before the full support in Firefox 109, which is expected in mid-January next year. The developers will also be able to test their up-to-date extensions with Mv3 on Firefox Nightly and Developer Edition versions of Mozilla’s web browser.
While Mozilla has stepped forward to support Manifest v3 extensions, they are a bit late since Microsoft’s testing for the Edge browser began in late 2020.