OSLO, Norway--With extensions coming to Opera 11, the Norwegian browser maker says it's time to consider making the technology a standard for all browsers.
"We think extensions are ripe for standardization," Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software's chief technology officer, said at a press conference here.
A standard for extensions holds the promise of easier development for programmers, as they wouldn't have to rewrite their extensions for each browser. However, there are obstacles, including the facts that the Web technology extension approach is relatively new, and different browsers expose different interfaces to the extensions.
Opera hasn't yet begun talking to other browser makers about the idea, though, Lie said in an interview.
"It's still a bit too early for that, but we're indicating willingness to do so," he said. "We think it would be fairly easy to write up that specification, if there is willingness."
Extensions come with the possibility of an app store, a very trendy mechanism for technology companies to keep users in their orbit these days.
Opera already has an add-on store where people can find the more independent applications, called widgets, and elements for the Opera Unite technology. Opera plans to use the same infrastructure for offering extensions, Chief Development Officer Christen Khrogh said in an interview.
Of course, Opera also has a cousin of Opera 11 for mobile phones, Opera Mobile. Opera co-founder John von Tetzchner wouldn't say whether it, too, would get extension abilities.