Custom Chrome on the Chrome Web Store

This project was a collaborative effort with a friend Ciaran Maguire while he was in Thailand travelling. The idea initially came about as the process of navigating to chrome’s extensions page to toggle an extension is cumbersome and annoying. After some Googling, there appeared to be some chrome extension managers already in the store, so we knew it was technically possible. However the existing extensions were ugly. We wanted to make one that was beautiful and simple to use. We also wanted some sort of profile management for bulk toggling extensions depending on the task at hand. For instance for web development, or YouTube, you might want to turn a number of extensions on at once. The extension managers in the store at the time didn’t seem to have this functionality.

We used Materialize.css, a nifty front-end framework that took care of the visual side of things. All that was left then was to master the API’s we needed, like toggling the chrome extensions and storing user profiles in sync storage.

GitHub was key to getting this project finished. For the entire development time I was in Ireland and Ciaran was in Thailand. I’d spend a few hours in the evening working on the code, and push the code before I fell asleep. Ciaran would then wake up in Thailand (at roughly 5am my time), and proceed to engage caps lock and berate me by SMS for the things I broke or did wrong. 🙂 There were some initial teething issues with using git as we hadn’t quite mastered how branches should work, but by the end of the project we had a pretty good handle on it. I now am in full on love with Git.

Overall I’m delighted with the end result, and I use the extension daily. Which is why we built it in the first place, for ourselves. But it seems to be getting some good feedback in the web store and Reddit. So happy days.