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24 November 2009, 11:43

Chrome extensions gallery opened to developers

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In a post on the Chromium Blog, Google Software Engineer Lei Zheng has announced that developers can now upload their extensions to Chrome's extension gallery (log-in required). According to Zheng, the company is "making the upload flow available early to make sure that developers have the time to publish their extensions" ahead of the full launch.

Like Firefox style Add-ons, Chrome Extensions will allow developers to add new tools and features to Google's new web browser. The ability to add extensions will also be important for Chrome OS, Google's upcoming, Debian GNU/Linux based, lightweight operating system. The Chrome OS is designed around one philosophy, that the web and web applications are all that a netbook needs, meaning that it will rely heavily on the built-in Chrome browser. Adding extensions will let users customise the Chrome browser that acts as the user interface for Chrome OS, to better meet their needs.

Once an extension is uploaded, the gallery will take care of packaging and signing. Currently, the gallery isn't open to the public, however, Zheng notes that it will be opened up to "a small group of trusted testers" in the next few days in order to provide developers with feedback to "help them polish their extensions".

Developer Documentation is provided for users interested in creating extensions. Zheng says that, for most extensions, the review process will be fully automated, however, extensions that "include an NPAPI component and all content scripts that affect file:// URLs" will be reviewed manually for security reasons.

Support for Chrome Extensions has been included in recent Dev channel releases of the browser, but had been disabled until the final API changes arrived. Google advises developers to test their extensions using the latest developer channel release. A page of sample extensions is provided on

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