Peter (@peterreiser) alerted me to a new feature of Google Chrome. Starting in Chrome 21, the browser will no longer allow installation of extensions via the .crx file.
Instead, you’ll get a message that extensions can only be installed from the Chrome Web Store. This is a bummer if you have an extension you built and want to deploy within an enterprise. Not all extensions are appropriate for external consumption, e.g. the WebCenter Chrome extension Rich (@rmanalan) and Anthony (@anthonyslai) built a couple years ago.
This is exactly how I discovered Chrome’s new feature. People are still using the WebCenter Chrome extension internally, and Peter ran into a user who hit a wall and didn’t know how to proceed.
Google added this feature as a security measure, but they also accounted for my use case.
You can still install extensions manually, but now to do so, you need to download the .crx file first, then drag and drop it onto the chrome://chrome/extensions/ page.
Yup, you read that right. That page has a sweet little HTML5 dropzone that lights up when you drag a .crx file onto it, and the rest is easy peasy.
Anyway, given how popular Chrome has become, I’m guessing someone out there will benefit from this tip.