Safari Extensions Gallery - What Gives?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by nope7308, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #1
    The selection of Apple approved extensions is dismal at best. Am I the only one who was expecting a bit more selection, especially given the additional wait time after the launch of Safari 5?

    How does Apple expect Safari 5 to compete with Firefox when it has so few (approved) extensions? Since the launch of the extensions gallery, I haven't seen much change in the available offerings, even though there is still a wealth of non-approved extensions out there... so what gives?

    Is it a lack of developers? Is Apple being too stringent in its method of approving extensions? I just can't understand how a browser with this much hype is so utterly disappointing... thoughts?
     
  2. iammike1 macrumors 6502a

    iammike1

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    #2
    I don't know but it's a big let down. I'm basically tired of going back to check for new extensions only to see that Apple is sitting on their ass about this.

    I was excited about extensions for Safari but now I'm just tired of waiting and back to Chrome.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #3
    They only recently launched the Extensions Gallery. It takes developers time to create extensions. If you're too impatient to wait, why not create your own?
     
  4. iammike1 macrumors 6502a

    iammike1

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    #4
    Last I read, Apple only has around 25% to 30% of addons that are out there on the gallery. It's not a matter of lack of addons.
     
  5. saxon48 macrumors 6502a

    saxon48

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    #5
    I'm frustrated too, but we should give them at least some time. The Safari tumblr was a really great source of extensions, and I still refer back to there quite often.
     
  6. Mickyfin macrumors 6502

    Mickyfin

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    #6
    Im sticking with Chrome myself for now, but do hope that more extensions become available for Safari in good time, so then, once there is ample choice, I will switch.
     
  7. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #7
    1) The gallery was just launched, but the option of creating extensions has been available since the launch of Safari 5.

    2) I don't think time constraints on developers is the issue, as several non-approved extensions are currently floating around the internet.

    3) Having an individual end-user create the extensions she wants/needs undermines the very purpose of having an extensions gallery. That is, Apple should at least have the most popular extensions available (or something comparable) before launching the extensions gallery. I'm still waiting on several (highly popular) Firefox extensions to be ported over. I don't know how to do this myself.

    4) I don't think I'm being impatient. If Apple claims that Safari 5 is the most advanced web browser, well, then I expect them to deliver. After making us wait for the launch of the extensions gallery, the selection is very underwhelming.

    For a browser that's intended to compete with Firefox, it sure isn't doing too well out of the gate.
     
  8. iammike1 macrumors 6502a

    iammike1

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    #8
    I don't know why but it sure seemed like it had been longer then the 28th since release.

    I still think Apple could move a whole lot faster on something of this level but sure, it hasn't been long.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    The extensions gallery is designed to offer extensions made by any developer, not just Apple. Most of the extensions in the gallery and elsewhere have been written by 3rd party developers, not by Apple employees. The point is, if there aren't more extensions available, it's because developers haven't written them yet. It's not up to Apple to write them, in the same way that widgets and iTunes music and videos are created by others but simply made available through Apple.

    If you have a complaint about the lack of extensions, take it up with the 3rd party developer community.
     
  10. iammike1 macrumors 6502a

    iammike1

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    #10
    You really need to look around, there are a lot of extensions that have not made it onto the Extension Gallery yet.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    Yes, I know. This site is one that was mentioned that has several available. They don't have to be in the Extensions Gallery before you can use them. If you find them available from other sites, use them! It's not up to Apple to be the only source for extensions written by independent developers.
     
  12. RoninXI macrumors regular

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    #12
    I am with others here, try Apple's site if you like it (I like how it is sorted) but go to tumblr after for a much larger selection.
     
  13. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #13
    My issue is with the selection (or lack thereof) on Apple's official extensions gallery. I thought that would have been clear from my previous posts (my apologies if it wasn't).

    Just to clarify, to ensure that those extensions are safe and fully compatible with Safari, you have to download them from Apple's official extensions gallery. Until Apple approves extensions with its digital signature (or whatever) they are not fully supported, nor are they considered secure.

    Whether or not those risks are negligible is besides the point. So far, Apple has only released (or approved) a handful of extensions when, presumably, they could be doing much better.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #14
    It's entirely possible that the reason Apple hasn't approved more extensions is for exactly that reason: they're not completely safe or compatible with Safari. I doubt seriously that Apple is sitting on a large number of approved extensions and intentionally withholding them from the gallery. Again, the issue lies with developers either not developing extensions or not developing safe/compatible extensions. I still don't see how it's Apple's responsibility if the development of acceptable extensions lies with independent developers, who either haven't provided the volume or the quality of extensions needed.
     
  15. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #15
    But you're presuming precisely that. For all we know, Apple may have diverted resources to the iPhone 4 PR crisis...

    As it stands, neither of us have the facts to conclusively attribute the poor selection to either the developers at large or to Apple in particular. What is clear, though, is that Apple is responsible for the poor selection. If developers haven't submitted extensions that meet Apple's criteria (which, I must admit, I find difficult to believe), then why did Apple decide to launch the official extension gallery in the first place? Why not wait until there is a decent selection before launching it? I mean, look at security - a whopping two extensions. Now that's real incentive to switch from Firefox...
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #16
    Naturally, complaining about it here isn't going to change anything. Apple launched the iTunes Store before the selection was as big as it is now. The same goes for iPhone apps, widgets, etc.
    • If they wait until there's a robust selection, people complain that they're taking too long to open the gallery.
    • If they release what they have, people complain that there isn't a better selection.
    • If they release everything they get their hands on, without thoroughly testing, people complain that the quality sucks.
    Apple does plenty of things for which they are to blame, but this isn't one of them. They have what they have. They'll have more in the future. There it is.

    "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black"
    - Henry Ford
     
  17. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    #17
    All developers receive a digital certificate when they download the resources required to develop the extensions regardless if they are distributed via the official gallery or elsewhere.

    This just makes each extension identifiable to the developer such that a malicious extension would be tied to an individual. This is done to promote accountability.

    All extensions are also sandboxed to limit exploitability. So, in terms of security, there is no difference between official and unofficial extensions. The level of sandboxing for safari extensions is supposedly greater than that of firefox extensions.

    From what I understand, official extensions are the ones that meet the requirements defined by apple that specify that extensions do not crash and meet user interface standards.
     
  18. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #18
    No, it probably won't change anything, but it will stimulate discussion on what may be causing this delay (and why it's important for Apple that it be resolved quickly). 99.9% of the posts on this website won't change anything, does that mean we should cease all discourse?

    You do make a good point, though. People will always complain and this is no exception. The difference, though, is that this complaint seems justified. Why would you tout Safari 5 as the most advanced web browser when the poor selection of extensions severely limits its productivity/functionality (not to mention the other bugs)? Personally, I think Apple really should have waited another month or two before making any of these wild claims; they didn't live up to their own hype. Notice that if the end-user isn't aware of the coming feature, then they can't complain it's taking too long to come to market. Apple made a strategic decision that, in my opinion, was misguided.

    Sure, Apple is free to determine what criteria to use when determining when a product is ready for launch, but judging by the majority of responses to the selection (or lack thereof) of extensions, perhaps they should have waited a bit longer.


    I don't fully understand 'sandboxing', but thanks for the clarification. That said, I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make.

    Only extensions available from Apple's official extensions gallery are supported/secure. In other words, if the extension does not meet the UI/Crash standards set by Apple, then it is neither supported nor secure.

    All I'm saying is that Apple needs to get a better selection of approved extensions ASAP. Otherwise, Safari is going to crash and burn... especially with the release of Firefox 4 not too far away.
     
  19. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    #19
    Here is a wiki on sanboxing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbox_(computer_security).

    Sandboxing and digital certificates are methods to improve security and they are the only ones used for safari extensions.

    The crash standard would be a security issue if "sandboxing" was not implemented as used in buffer overflow exploits. Given the sandboxing, the crash standard is largely a performance rather than security issue.

    The downside to sandboxing is that it limits the range of functionality allowed in an extension. So, firefox will always have extensions that can perform a broader range of functionality. Firefox extensions are not sandboxed at all AFAIK. They even had 2 malicious extensions distributed in firefox's official extensions recently.

    UI standard only represents an aesthetic standard and not security.
     

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