Google Chrome breaks extension format

From the ‘sign here please‘ files:

Google Chrome dev-channel is now out, bringing with it a major change to the way Extensions are packaged.

Extensions (known as Add-Ons to Mozilla Firefox users) are still not part of the regular Chrome experience but with the new dev-channel release they are getting a step closer. But in getting closer, those that have built experimental extension will now have to repackage whatever they may have done so far.

“As part of the latest dev channel release, we’ve had to make a breaking
change to the crx format,” Google staffer Nick Baum wrote on a mailing list update. “This change adds signatures to our package format,
which are necessary to enable automatic updates. Unfortunately, this means
that any existing extensions will stop working, and will have to be

At this early stage, the fact that developers will need to repackage is no big deal in my view. Mozilla Firefox developers are used to repackaging their add-ons for nearly every Firefox major release, so this is par for the course.

Have signatures for Extensions is a must have item. What that should do, is ensure the authenticity of an Extension and should hopefully prevent malware injections.

What’s also interesting to note, is that once again Google is updating Windows, Mac and Linux users with this release. There are a good number of Linux and Mac specific fixes – which are needed since neither of those releases are really stable yet.

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