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May 27, 2009

Extending Google Chrome

One of the presentations from the first day of Google I/O was about Google Chrome's extension system. There aren't many improvements since the last post about Chrome extensions, but the presentation explains some of the advantages of Google's system:

* extensions are collections of web pages that use HTML, JavaScript, CSS, so they're not difficult to write
* you don't need to restart the browser after installing an extension
* the extensions are updated automatically, so you'll always have the most recent version
* Chrome's extensions will work in any future version of the browser. Developers don't need to update their extensions when a new version of Chrome is released.
* Chrome will run extensions in separate processes: one process for each extension.

You can already write some simple extensions that add new options to the browser, but the interface is pretty limited and the APIs don't expose all the features that are available in Chrome.

To try some Chrome extensions, follow the instructions from this post, but they only work if you install a developer build. You can also install Cleeki, an extension that brings IE8's accelerators to Chrome, AdSweep, an ad blocker without UI, and a PageRank checker.

{ via Chromium blog }

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