Microsoft announced today that extension developers are now able to test the new extension manifest v3 in the company's Edge browser.
When Google announced Manifest v3 for extensions back in January 2019, concern was voiced almost immediately over the company's plans. High profile extension creators such as Raymond Hill, best known for his work on uBlock Origin, stated that extensions like his would no longer be usable after the changes landed in Google Chrome. The new API had a limit of 30,000 rules whereas popular filter lists had 70,000 rules or more. Additionally, users can combine multiple filter lists and that would raise the limit even further. Google raised the limit to 150,000 in mid 2019 as a consequence.
Google plans to introduce a new API for content blocking activities in Chrome and deprecate the old one that all content blockers and other privacy and security extensions are using currently.
Mozilla, and some Chromium-based browser makers such as Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, reassured users that they would not follow Google's lead on this.
Google implemented Manifest v3 in Chrome Canary 80 which it released back in November 2019. The implementation was primarily designed for extension developers to test their extensions against the new manifest file.
Microsoft announced that the Manifest V3 changes are available in the company's new Edge browser for testing. The changes are available for testing in the Beta and Stable channels of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft encourages developers to check out Google's Migrating to Manifest V3 document as it provides information needed to migrate extensions to the new Manifest v3.
Microsoft states that the changes won't "compromise the capabilities" of extensions or "reduce the potential that the ecosystem has". The company believes that most concerns that developers of content blockers and the community raised are resolved or will be resolved before the currently used Web Request API is deprecated.
Manifest V3 introduces new security concepts that improve user privacy and security. Extensions may no longer use remotely hosted code, controls are introduced to allow or restrict extension access to websites at runtime, and extensions will have the same permissions as the page they are injected into. Google has yet to decide on the Manifest v2 end of life date.
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