google browser sync-1.jpgSome of you were disappointed to hear a few weeks ago that Google doesn’t have any intentions of updating the Google Browser Sync extension for Firefox 3. The eagle-eyed Ars Technica has given us reason not to give up all hope quite yet though. Google, believe it or not, has posted the source code for the extension up on Google Code. Heck, they even have instructions on setting up a development environment for working on it.




There’s been no official mention from Google about Firefox 3 support for the extension, but this almost makes it seem like they want the community to help make the extension functional once again. They have setup a todo list that says they want to figure out how to integrate it with FIrefox 3’s new bookmarking and history system. That list also says that they want to figure out a way to allow multiple computers to be online simultaneously, and continuously sync the data between each. Could that be like collaborative browsing?

I’m sure many of you are wondering how this extension couldn’t be modified previously since the source code of all Firefox extensions can quickly be seen by anyone. When Google bundled up the extension they compressed the JavaScript code which stripped out any commenting, and renamed variables in a hard-to-understand fashion. So it wasn’t impossible to do before, but it was more work than anyone would have likely wanted to go through. The new open source version contains the Google Browser Sync source code that is uncompressed and has all comments in tact.

Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that Google won’t pull down the servers needed for the hosting at the end of 2008 like we originally heard. Otherwise any effort spent trying to get the extension to work would be for nothing.

Thanks to Cory for the tip!