Please allow me to express my opinion on the subject at some length,
which is, strangely, not widely discussed in this group.
I started as an extension developer for Chrome, almost without prior
JS knowledge, when I found that no extension existed to mimic a
favorite of mine for Firefox. Essentially I was doing this for myself,
not very confident in my abilities, but as it turned out pretty okay
(though a niche product), I decided to publish it in the Gallery. The
outcome was very positive and I now have an audience of 1k+ users and
have a motivation to improve my extension and my skills further.
But if I wrote it today, I'm not sure I'd submit it to the Gallery,
not knowing whether it will be welcomed by others. And it's not a
matter of the amount or inability to pay.
Let's face it, no matter how high a barrier is, it still is a barrier.
There are many reasons for your registration fee to be a barrier,
which were cited in discussions on this matter already. 5$ fee may be
rather high for some, others don't have a suitable credit card to
process the payment, and privacy concerns with Google Checkout are
Personally I think there's a considerable psychological barrier
between "free" and "token payment"/"cheap". It's still something of an
investment with unknown results for beginners.
Also, a person may want to volunteer his time to develop a useful
extension, therefore enriching Chrome, but any kind of paywall (be it
5$, 1$, doesn't matter) will discourage it. I can see a line of
reasoning like "I'm already volunteering, free of charge, to improve
your users' experience, and now I have to pay you for it?". I find it
very much valid.
Concerning alternative hosting services, it's not as much of a
solution. Chrome actively advertises its Gallery throughout its own
pages, so it will be the first place to look for extensions for
newcomers to Chrome. And it won't be surprising to see Google's own
pages getting higher rank when a broader search is attempted. So it
lowers extension's chances of being used considerably to host it
In the end, I want to mention that I'm not blind to the reason why
this was implemented in the first place. Rogue extensions are a threat
to the browser's image, but I don't think this will be very efficient
in battling them. Surely not 100% efficient, as an ill-intending user
can, for instance, use untraceable one-time virtual credit cards. And
you risk just throwing out the baby with the bathwater, scaring away
On Aug 20, 12:42 am, Arne Roomann-Kurrik <kur...@chromium.org
> As we just announced over on our developer blog, you can now start
> testing your apps with the Chrome Web Store!
> You'll be able to start uploading apps to the current Chrome extension
> gallery to test out the process (users will not be able to purchase or
> install them until the consumer launch). We've published technical
> documentation on apps and the license server, so if you're interested
> in learning more about these, please check:
> We also just announced a couple security improvements. First, new
> developers will be charged a one-time $5 USD fee to upload extensions
> and apps to the gallery. If you've already uploaded an extension to
> the gallery you will not have to pay this fee.
> Second, we've added the (highly requested) ability to verify your
> domain in order to make an "official" extension for your website.
> For more information about these changes, please read: