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Chrome extensions site now open for uploads

Google asks programmers to start adding their Chrome extensions to the new gallery. Chrome users can't yet download them, though.

The present interface for developers to upload their Chrome extensions.
The present interface for developers to upload their Chrome extensions. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google has opened up its gallery for developers to share Chrome extensions, a step that soon should make it easier for people to customize the open-source browser.

Aaron Boodman, a leader of the Chrome extensions effort, announced the move on a mailing list posting Monday, and programmer and "gallery master" Lei Zheng shared details in a blog post.

So far, only uploads are permitted. Google plans to let some testers use the gallery to download extensions, too "in the next few days," Zheng said. "We are making the upload flow available early to make sure that developers have the time to publish their extensions ahead of our full launch."

Extensions, a major asset of the Firefox browser and the headline feature of the upcoming Chrome 4 beta, let people modify the browser more to their liking. With them, the browser itself doesn't have to be bogged down with numerous features and configuration options that most people don't want.

One feature of Google's system is that add-ons are automatically updated on Chrome users' computers once the developer uploads a new version.

For developers, the extensions gallery comes with a set of terms and conditions.

One nugget in the legalese: expect Google to use a rating system, as it does for other sites including Android applications and YouTube videos. It's all part of Google's philosophy of using user data to help automatically manage its Web properties in a way that, the company hopes, will be helpful to those who use its sites.

According to the terms and conditions: "The gallery will allow users to rate products. Along with other factors, product ratings may be used to determine the placement of products on the gallery with higher rated products generally given better placement, subject to Google's right to change placement at Google's sole discretion. For new developers without product history, Google may use or publish performance measurements such as uninstall rates to identify or remove products that are not meeting acceptable standards, as determined by Google."