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Safari extensions to be announced at WWDC?

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Tue May 25, 2010

Could bring app up to part with Firefox, Chrome

Apple may be preparing to update Safari with extension support, Daring Fireball's John Gruber hints. "The other big thing that's missing (compared to both Chrome and Firefox) is a proper extension API," says the writer. "If only Apple had an imminent developer conference where they could unveil such a thing." While such a statement would normally be considered speculation, Gruber often phrases inside information in an insinuating manner. Apple's WWDC 2010 event is scheduled to start June 7th.

Extensions are now one of the more noticeable gaps in Safari 4's features. Although they can be used simply to apply cosmetic changes in the form of themes, they can also be exploited to add new functions to existing websites, or a browser in general. Apple has used WWDC to announce Safari updates several times in the past, including the first Safari 3 beta in 2007, and the final version of Safari 4 in 2009.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Has no one heard of 'style sheets' or plug-ins like 'Flash-block' or 'click-to-flash'? There are many noted ways out there to customize Safari. Maybe someone can fill me in on what special abilities "extensions" get you that aren't currently available...

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Hello?

    ClickToFlash uses an unsupported mechanism to extend Safari, and not only are its capabilities restricted by this, but it can easily break from one version of Safari to the next. There are many extensions that Firefox has, such as NoScript, that are impossible to do properly with Safari. Right now, there is simply no support for extensions of any kind in Safari, and this would be a hugely welcome addition to its capabilities, and likely the single greatest reason it hasn't been able to get anywhere on the Windows platform.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Look up SIMBL

    It's a complete hack but required for many Safari extensions. It's unsupported and non-standard but works well enough.

  1. Mike Richardson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NO Extensions.

    It's a d@mn browser, all I want to do is load webpages. That was the whole point of the first versions of Safari - to be a fast and lightweight browser that could be bundled with the OS to get you online. If you wanted a big bloated browser then you could download Firefox instead.

    Remember when Firefox was a simple browser, spun off from the Mozilla suite?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: No extensions

    The whole point of extensions is that Apple (or Mozilla or whoever) doesn't just keep adding c*** to the browser to add functionality. You let the extensions do it. The browser itself remains 'slim' and 'spry'. Otherwise what you are left with is what you are starting to see in Firefox, and even more so in Safari. Bloat, bloat, bloat. (which in part is due to the developers thinking the usual "OK, we've got that. Now we need to keep adding stuff or people won't think we're 'advancing' the application!"

    See, tThis way, if you don't want or need fancy stuff like ad blocking or script checking or stupid 'recent sites' or whatever, you don't install them! And, even better, if Apple does it right, maybe we can get the refresh button back on the damn toolbar where it belongs, instead of over by itself in the address bar! Or add close buttons to every tab rather than having to hover over the area it should be to see it. Or change the default search provider to something you want, not what Apple thinks you should have.

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