MV3 transition - letting older Chrome browsers install MV2 version?

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Jói Sigurdsson

Sep 30, 2022, 6:23:30 AMSep 30
to Chromium Extensions
Hi folks,

This is related to the updates yesterday on the MV2/MV3 timeline, and hopefully somebody here has the answer, or Simeon can chime in.

Consider this scenario:
- We have an MV3 extension as a separate unlisted BETA extension, it's working OK it seems (although there are some issues we are still concerned about)
- Some of our enterprise customers are still on old Chrome versions, ones before some very important MV3 platform issues were fixed. (We will communicate with them about updating, but I think it's clear not all of them will be able to or willing to)
- We would like to update our main, non-beta extension to MV3 soon (before January even)

At the moment, it would appear to me that I could update our main extension with the MV3 code, and include e.g. "minimum_chrome_version": "102.0.5005.61" in the manifest (that version is the first that had a bug fix that is important in our case).

If I were to do that, I believe that users who are still on older Chrome versions won't be able to install the extension at all (but if they already had it installed they would keep their older version of it).

Does anybody know if there is a way to publish an updated extension, set "minimum_chrome_version" in the manifest, and have users on older browsers receive the previous version of the extension instead?

It seems this would be quite a common case, and allowing older browsers to install a previous version of an extension (and update later) would be quite a necessary facility during the MV2->MV3 transition.


Sep 30, 2022, 7:47:45 AMSep 30
to Chromium Extensions,
There's no way to do that. The Web Store only deploys the most recent extension update.
Once you set  minimum_chrome_version: 102, people with older browser versions won't be able to install or update.

It would be nice to have that, but given that we are 3 months away from the deadline and MV3 is still as buggy and incomplete as it was at the beginning of the year, there's zero chance we will see that feature implemented in time to be of any use.


Sep 30, 2022, 8:03:16 AMSep 30
to Chromium Extensions,,
Yes, it wouldn't be a bad idea.
Firefox and Opera already historicize the versions of the extensions giving the user the possibility to cancel-disable the versions considered obsolete in complete autonomy.
The Edge store instead allows to cancel the review process in case the developer realizes that he's made a mistake or has forgotten something.
These are two aspects that perhaps Chrome store should also take into consideration.
Furthermore, it should also be noted that Firefox (for the moment) has not put any pressure on the developers to complete the migration of their MV2 extensions. I would not be surprised, however, if in a month or two even FF began to draw up a "timeline" since the two browsers it'd seem that now go hand in hand (very poetic as an idea even if it is not quite so).
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