Weekly update #4

Slowly realizing my weekly happens every two weeks

Hello friends! Another good week coming, hope you’re good too!

My current main goal now is to get the most feedback I can for extension-create. The plan is to share it everywhere: newsletters, blog posts, guest blog posts, I’m actively looking for other developers interested in browser extensions to check out the repo and let me know what is missing. If you’re interested please let me know via email boss@my_full_name.net or Twitter DM @cezaraugusto. Thanks!

extension-create has a new default template

Added a new default template (I called it standard template), see how it looks:

Having a default template with a background script isn’t likely to pump you to create a new project, but a new tab override with a popup page has better chances.

How does it look to you? I’m loving it!

faster extension-create “start” command

I think the current best way to learn about browser extensions is by forking sample apps from Chrome and MDN. But how do you do that?

Here’s my workflow:

  1. Search for term i.e. “chrome extension samples”

  2. Go to their GitHub page

  3. Find the template I want (via cmd+f to search)

  4. Either manually copy the extension or pull the whole repo

  5. Check out the repo or paste the file copy

  6. Go to your browser and manually load your extension

  7. Start developing your extension

Super boring, huh? I thought it would be super cool to be able to check this out in a one-click fashion, and that’s what the “start” command does when you supply a GitHub URL as the command parameter:

Here’s the new workflow:

  1. Search for term i.e. “chrome extension samples”

  2. Go to their GitHub page

  3. Find the template I want (via cmd+f to search)

  4. Copy URL

  5. Run `npx extension-create start <chrome_sample_url>

Much better, right? Works out of the box with all Chrome Extensions samples. Here’s me using their make_page_red extension:

This is my favorite feature so far. The ability to try out public extension samples with one command? The whole action probably takes around 30s and can make wonders to the creative mind. I’m planning to make the whole book using this sample flow.

Updated chapters on The Browser Extensions Book

The book I’m writing has an updated Table of Contents with the topics I’m planning to cover. Each chapter plans to include a good amount of hands-on samples to get you familiar with browser extensions. You can see the current proposal on the book’s wiki page here.

Spreading the word

I have a few newsletters I like and got excited and a bit validated and after webpack-run-chrome-extension was featured in WebToolsWeekly, so I’m going to try out other newsletters but this time with extension-create.

Planning some blog posts too so other devs can jump in and hopefully let me know their thoughts as well. People involved in browsers/extensions can have invaluable insight into it, so I wrote a post on the Chromium Extensions Google Group asking for feedback. Let’s see how it goes!

Next?

I’m willing to spend some time asking folks to try out the tool, getting feedback from other extension developers, and hopefully from folks representing browser vendors as well.

Talk to you soon!