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This page is part of the ORA Technical Notes series. it is not necessary for most users to read, understand, or retain the information on this help page. It is provided for power users and other people who are interested in (mostly technical) details.

ORA's implementation is constantly changing and the details in this Technical Note may not be up-to-date.

Google Chrome and Manifest v3

Manifest v3 is an API that determines how browser extensions like ORA interact with the browser. Google designed Manifest v3 circa 2019 and decided to stop supporting the prior API, Manifest v2, as of January 1, 2023. That effectively forced all browser extension developers to update their extensions to use Manifest v3 before January 1, 2023.

All versions and browser-specific variations of ORA released prior to October 2022 used the Manifest v2 API. I was forced to delay implementing Manifest v3 in ORA due to crippling bugs in the Google Chrome implementation of Manifest v3. This was extremely frustrating because Google would not respond to requests by developers to delay the deadline but it was impossible for many extensions, including ORA, to function properly given the Google bugs!

As of September, 2022, the main bugs are now fixed and that has enabled me to implement Manifest v3 for Google Chrome. Unfortunately, the looming deadline means there is limited time for testing.

There has been widespread criticism of some of the changes in Manifest v3. I will not address that criticism here. If you are interested, I suggest you search the web for news articles and blogs discussing Google's motivation for implementing Manifest v3.

Because Google Chrome has a dominant share of the desktop browser market, other browsers will eventually require extensions to use the Manifest v3 API.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge uses the same underlying technology as Google Chrome, and Microsoft will stop supporting extensions that use Manifest v2 in June 2023. As of late September 2022, it is not clear if all the bugs that plagued Google Chrome's implementation of Manifest v3 have been fixed in Microsoft Edge though initial testing indicates ORA's basic operations function as expected.

As of October 2022, ORA uses the Manifest v3 API when running under Micorosft Edge. This is true whether the user acquires the extension via the Microsoft Edge Add-ons page or via the Chrome Web Store.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla has promised to implement Manifest v3 in Firefox by the end of 2022.

As of October, 2022, ORA uses the Manifest v2 API when running under Firefox.


Opera uses the same underlying technology as Google Chrome. ORA is installed in Opera via the Chrome Web Store and thus uses the exact same version of ORA.

As of October, 2022, ORA uses the Manifest v3 API when running under Opera.

Manifest v3 Bugs

ORA uses native messaging, a browser extension capability that is used by a relatively small subset of browser extensions. Native messaging enables an extension to communicate with a third-party program running on the user's computer. The third-party program runs separately from the browser. ORA's OraHost component relies on this capability to support several features, including Auto Type Templates and import and export of configuration data.

Prior to September 2022, the native messaging feature in Google Chrome was unreliable. There were several technical issues, some that were bugs and others that were holes in the feature set. The most notable issue was the loss of communication between the extension and the native application. While extension developers found workarounds, they were not 100% reliable.

In late August 2022, Google released Chrome v105.0.5195. That version included fixes that addressed the native messaging bugs and thus enabled ORA to implement Manifest v3.