Mobile browser plugins: The browser as a platform la facebook platforms ..

Note: I changed the subject because the blog is emphasising Mobile browser plugins – which was not obvious from the previous heading

I have talked about browser plugins before in context of offline browsing. However, the concept of plugins could be an interesting idea in itself – independent of its use in offline browsing.

If browser plugins take off , then the browser becomes a platform much like the facebook platform. The analogy is not accurate of course since browser extensions are software extensions whereas facebook applications are extensions of the platform itself – which includes the software and the data i.e. people

Having said that, the idea of extending a browser could have some interesting implications – especially taking the idea of open source into the equation

If we take the vibrancy (and the irritability!) of facebook applications and extend that to browser extensions, then the act of extending browsers via plugins can have both positive and negative implications – for instance ..

a) People can create their own extensions – ideally very easily. Much like facebook apps

b) These extensions should installable at any time and by anyone(i.e. not determined at POS)

c) It should be possible to tell others what plugins you are already running(i.e. capability exchange much like what we see at WURFL)

d) Irritating applications should be removable(much like some facebook apps!)

e) It should be possible to ‘send’ extensions to others(again like facebook apps)

f) There should be a minimum set or configuration to start off with

g) The whole ecosystem should be open sourced – so that it takes off faster.

h) The plug-in interface should be defined separating the interface from the implementation

i) Testing and certification should also be decentralised i.e. not controlled as a revenue model – else things wont take off fast because developers wont have any incentive to work with it commercially

I am aware that as I mentioned in my previous blog, the missing link is access to device APIs from the browser – and by extension the security implications of the same i.e. merely having the ability to add these plugins on mobile browsers may have limited usage if the plug-in itself can do little .. But it’s a good start? No?


  1. Havent you just described Operas widgets?

  2. Ajit Jaokar says:

    hello Mikael, I am talking of mobile browser plugins .. I have changed the subject to reflect the same. So, no this is not the same as Opera widgets as I understand them