New experimental APIs for Chrome extensions

Monday, April 04, 2011

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In the latest Chrome beta release, we made available two new experimental extension APIs: the Web Navigation and Proxy Extension APIs. They are the first in a series of low-level APIs that allow extension and application authors integrate more closely with the user’s browsing experience. We're excited about these APIs and want to get them in front of developers early so we can receive their feedback on any additional needs.

  • The Web Navigation Extension API allows extension developers to observe browser navigation events. These events fire both for top-level navigation and in-page navigation. The API therefore allows an extension to keep track of exactly what page (or section thereof) the tab is showing, and how the user got there. We foresee a number of use cases for this API, including extensions that gather and present statistical or benchmarking data, safe-browsing extensions, and developer tools.
  • The Proxy Extension API closes one of our most popular feature requests, allowing users to configure Chrome’s proxy settings via extensions. Proxies can be configured for the entire browser or independently for regular and incognito windows. Configuration options range from setting a single proxy server to installing remote or even local PAC scripts. A sample extension demonstrates these capabilities.

Sample extension showcasing individual proxy settings for normal and incognito windows.

To try out these new APIs, please go to about:flags and enable “Experimental Extension APIs”. To protect our users' privacy, when these APIs reach the stable channel, extensions that use them will need to request explicit permission from users.

Let us know if you create something cool with one of these APIs. If we like it, we may feature you in the extensions gallery.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ll create!

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