Quick Thoughts On Googles Just-Launched Chrome Extensions Gallery

Google is clearly working the midnight oil trying to get Chrome extensions up and running for Add-On-Con next week. They’ve just launched both Chrome beta for Linux and the official extensions gallery:

Chrome_Extensions_Gallery

While extensions aren’t yet available for the Mac, I would assume an extensions-capable beta is what’s next on the menu.

Some thoughts:

  • Nice and simple design, loads fast, classic Google style.
  • Feels like it’s easier to find the good extensions than it is using Firefox’ extensions gallery, and that’s despite there already being a good amount of extensions ready.
  • The “Top Rated” filter is likely to be useful once there are enough ratings.
  • The “search for extensions” textfield is styled… I really miss the good old days of unstyled Google widgets.
  • Of note is the fact that apparently, adblocking is okay (AdSweep).
  • Until recently, nearly all extensions added a button to an “extension shelf”, a bottom-most panel in Chrome. This panel is now disabled by default, but it seems most extensions add an icon right next to the page and wrench buttons instead. It’ll be interesting to see how far this goes as more and more extensions are developed. I imagine that little area can fill up quickly.
  • Quite possibly extensions add icons because it’s the only way to add configuration screens without having you click the wrench > extensions section first. Can we hope for either a page / wrench menu API, or perhaps just a unified extensions menu button?
  • There’s no global keyboard shortcut API yet, which means I’ll have to wait patiently for an “Omnibar Tab-To-Select” extension to appear (or be written by yours truly).
  • Since Google Chrome can compile a greasemonkey script into an extension for you, we can expect quite a few of those to appear soon.

Overall, very nice, moreso the potential.

Extensions I’ll Be Checking Out

  • I’ve already run the RSS Subscription Extension from Googles Samples gallery for a while. It works as advertised, i.e. it mimics the built-in behavior of competing browsers.
  • Because I still run Firefox side-by-side with Chrome, It’d be nice to have the same set of bookmarks, which X-marks promises to do. I hope it’s more stable now; the first alpha was really flaky.
  • Docs PDF/PowerPoint Reader is kinda like my bookmarklet, but built-in and auto loading. Neat!
  • Google Tasks looks like a glorified bookmark, but just what I need.
  • Just to see how close it is to “Click To Flash”, I’ll be trying out Kill-Flash.
  • Google Calendar Checker, hoping it one day gets notifications as well.

Extensions I Still Miss From Firefox

  • I use Aardvark on a daily basis, because it’s so much faster than Firebug.
  • Firebug, for when Aardvark falls short.
  • IE View, but I’m assuming it’ll be postponed until a right-click-menu API becomes available.

Penny for your thoughts?

5 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts On Googles Just-Launched Chrome Extensions Gallery”

  1. Quick Thoughts On Googles Just-Launched Chrome Extensions Gallery: http://noscope.com/?p=5617

  2. What about Firebug do you miss?

    1. Joen says:

      Michael Heilemann: What about Firebug do you miss?

      Specifically?

      I miss the ability to turn it on, enable the “element selector”, click an offending element, and in the right hand sidebar turn off all CSS applied to that element, inherited or otherwise.

      Can I do that in Chromes web inspector?

  3. Not that I know of, no. What do you use that for?

    1. Joen says:

      Debugging stray margins and paddings, primarily.

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