Unblocking extensions on Brave and getting started as a Brave Developer

It’s well known that youtube channels and mainstream media outlets always disable comments when they are lying too blatantly in order to avoid being exposed by the comments, for that reason, I believe making a browser extension that adds a comment section on all sites is important for free speech and the flow of real information.

With that in mind, I found gab’s Dissenter extension but also found that Chrome has been using their web store to censor extensions they don’t like, which is a problem for Brave, this has led me to raise this issue which in my opinion, didn’t get the attention it deserves.

I’m already able to build and debug Brave from source, but my experience with C++ has it’s limitations and I believe there must be someone more qualified for the job who is also interested on this, at this point, I’m considering to open a task for this issue on bountysource to see if any developer is attracted to this, and if it’s not then maybe I could end up claiming the bounty myself eventually.

The problem is, this doesn’t feel efficient, and I have no understanding of how the Brave team works and even if I managed to create a patch that unblocked extensions from Brave, eventually I’d have to make a pull request that might just never get accepted because I have no communication with the team.

So the questions are, how should a new developer proceed if they want to see a new feature developed? Is there any funding mechanism for the development? Is there any documentation for our processes?

I just installed a extension from .crx / .zip file. The extension is not available on chrome web store. Just enabled developer mode and installed the extension from the unpacked option

I have no idea how you guys are having a problem.

I am able to install it from unpacked, but that’s only useful for development and is not an acceptable solution for an end-user.

Currently nothing can be done about it. You are only concentrating on the browser and not on how the web store will function. It will require manpower, money, resources to make it work and that is the reason brave does not have its own webstore (this is the official reason given).

Edge and Opera have locked their extension store to their browser user agents. Only chrome web store makes it available for all chromium based browsers free of charge. Now, you want brave to make changes to their code so that the users can download extensions from another webs store than google/chrome, but from where?? There is no other web store than google/chrome which will allow it.

dude, I am a developer, I am the manpower you need (and doing it for free!!), and bountysource is a mechanism to attract even more manpower, and I’m proposing we remove the dependency on the web store, we don’t need to run our own.

Removing that dependency will allow extension developers to distribute their extensions in their own websites, so for example, users would be able to go to Dissent’s website, download and double click an installer to get the extension, no web store needed.

I finally got what you were tlaking about and it was not about a new brave extension store.

Your idea seems to be pretty good and workable. The thing is, brave team does not work on stuff which does not make them money or is too cumbersome to do for small benefit.

So, you (and the guys you will work with) will have to do everything by yourself, the whole thing. Then there is a small possibility that Brave team will accept the PR to some extent.
Also, a lot of new features (practically everything) needs to be passed through their internal privacy team. If they Ok it, then and then only it becomes available to users. So, you will need to take that into consideration that your method will preserve users privacy. https://www.theregister.com/2022/02/12/facebook_god_mode/

I tried some stuff on opera and edge store which is not related to your method. For opera I changed my UA from chrome to opera, then the usual pop-up appeared to download it for opera. On chrome UA, such pop-up was not there. Even if I click on install add-on, it will download a .crx file rather than the normal way it happens.
For edge store, nothing worked.

That’s fair, but that means they don’t have a way to fund some types of development, I think there should be a considerable amount of people who cares about free speech and there may be other important topics that are currently being affected by google’s extension censorship, so it should be possible to setup a project page on bountysource, get in contact with content creators who have good visibility and have them make a good argument on why this development is important, and have them direct their public to contribute to the bounty, once the bounty is big enough, some developer would do the development to claim the bounty.

The problem I see here is that for all that to happen the brave team would probably have to be involved in the process of judging whether the submission can be accepted or not in order to pay the bounty.

That actually sounds like a large red flag to me, even for that specific case, that extension sells itself as a collection of Facebook automation tools, obviously they’ll have access to your data if you install it, but when a user installs an extension they are declaring they trust the extension developer, it’s not Brave’s business to make that decision for the users, we can have a black list warning about the extension but blocking it just puts us in the same situation as Google Chrome where someone who really wants to use the extension will just have to move to another browser.

Everything requires money in this world. I don’t think they will put bounty for it. The devs who want this feature will need to do it for free. And if the PR/feature is merged on the nightly/beta release, the devs will also need to maintain or update for free

True to some extent. I personally did not agree how it went down from brave’s side.
If it was actual malicious extension injecting malware/virus then it was the right thing to do. But, as I know it, the dev made his intentions clear on what the extension is able to do. All those who used the extension clearly knew what changes the extension will do.
In my opinion, they went over-agressive against this particular extension.

I think you should wait for few more years and see how it goes. In future, by 2024, I think we will get a brave extension store.