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Extension Manifest v3 - Should we worry for Opera extensions' future?


    Google has published a draft manifest for what Chrome/Chromium extensions can and cannot do in the future. Although this is not yet finalised, quite a few concerns have been raised by adblocker developers - not least gorhill himself - about how this could effectively kill adblocking as we know it.

    Some initial questions, then:

    1. Will Opera - as a Chromium derivative - be required to follow this manifest if finalised?
    2. Are Opera's devs involved in the discussion around the proposed changes, and if so, what's Opera's position?
    3. Should this manifest be finalised, would Opera be able to circumvent the changes (e.g. by allowing the previous extension capabilities for all extensions hosted in the Opera Store)?
    4. Will Opera's built-in adblocking capability be affected in any way by the proposed changes?

    All of this is quite worrying for users' ability to control what and how they browser. It would be interesting to have people's thoughts on this subject...

  • I'm curious about this as well. Right now, I know that Brave's internal adblock is safe, but I really like Opera's adblocker on mobile devices. It'd be a shame to lose that as an option.

  • I don't think internal adblockers will be affected.

  • AS Opera's ad blocker is not an extension, what Google limits extensions to is immaterial.

  • @sgunhouse It is listed on the Extensions page of Opera. I believe that's part of my initial confusion.

  • Whatever is listed on the Extensions page says "Recommended" (as in, not installed yet)...?

  • 0_1549899961705_ad block.PNG

    The question was whether or not changes to Chromium's base code would impact extensions. This is listed on the extensions page. I believe it's a fair question whether or not Opera's built-in adblocker will be impacted by proposed changes to Manifest V3.

  • @leocg Thanks for responding to one of my questions. However, I am even more curious to know what would happen to Opera's handling of other ad-blocking extensions (other than the built-in adblocker) - is Opera providing any feedback on this proposed plan? If it goes through as currently drafted, will Opera handle extensions (and limit their functionality) as per the manifest or would it retain a backwards compatibility mode? I know it's early days, but this is an important matter close to many users' hearts.

  • If they make changes in Chromium, I guess that there won't be too much that Opera or any other Chromium based browsers could do.

  • Not really. They CAN (and do) modify the Chromium code each time an update comes out. Vivaldi makes underlying changes each release as it makes new code work with their features. Brave has already stated that these proposed changes will not affect their manipulation of the code or how their built-in ad blocking feature works. Chrome tacks on Google-specific features to the Chromium code, and I'm sure that Opera does the same.

    Chromium itself is designed to be modified by end users to add or remove features in their software.

  • Yes, they can change the code and they probably do it a lot but depending on the costs of it, they will just follow Chromium.

  • Which is why we're hoping to get a response from someone on or familiar with the development team, I believe.

  • What they probably will be able to do only after Chromium decides if they will change something and what.