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Build Chrome Extension (MV3) development environment based on Vite + React

Always looking for something to do.
・2 min read


I have always wanted to make a bilibili barrage extension. I recently took the opportunity of researching Vite to do it. It took two days to build a Chrome Extension (MV3) development environment based on Vite + React. The core functions are as follows:

-📦️ JS packaged into a single file
-🎨 Automatically introduce CSS
-🔨 Package service worker
-🚀 Hot update of development environment

Here is a focus on the implementation of the current hot update. Other functions are relatively simple. For details, please refer to theprimone/violet

I watched "Violet Evergarden" at bilibili, which was impressive. Just this time I planned to be a barrage extension of bilibili, and simply took the heroine's name violet 😃

Practical operation

The general process of hot update is shown in the figure below:


start up

Execute three commands simultaneously through npm run dev:

-tsc compile service worker and monitor changes
-vite compile extension
-The websocket service monitors the changes of the directory /dist after packaging

Among them, because vite build --watch has not yet been released, temporarily through custom script monitor the source code changes, and can be removed after the vite feature is released.

Hot Update

After the browser page loads the content scripts, a websocket link will be created. After receiving the request, the server will start listening to the /dist directory. The websocket service will actively initiate a notification after listening to the change of /dist.

The content scripts receive the notification that the extension needs to be updated, and trigger the event registered in the service worker by chrome.runtime.onMessage via chrome.runtime.sendMessage, which triggers chrome.runtime.reload and chrome.tabs.reload in turn to update Extension and current page. What you write is what you get without any manual intervention 🚀

Readers may have a question, why not listen for notifications from websocket directly in the service worker?

I have been thinking the same way before. The use of service workers under Manifest V3 promotes Thinking with events through chrome.runtime.onInstalledAnd chrome.runtime.onStartup to create a websocket client will be closed unexpectedly, even if the timer polling is used, it will be closed and restarted after multiple executions. Therefore, the best solution currently found is to monitor the chrome.runtime.onMessage event in the service worker.

In this way, the hot update process will only be triggered when the page loads the current Extension.

Sum Up

Since most of the current Chrome Extension versions are lower than the MV3 version, I have stepped on a lot of pits in the past two days, and I have a certain degree of understanding of browser extension development that I have not touched before. Now it is only for the Chrome Extension scenario. I will continue to improve the current scenario to complete the support for other browser extensions. Finally, it should be possible to encapsulate a tool for browser extension development.

Translate from Chinese, checkout by theprimone

Discussion (3)

theprimone profile image
云深 Author

vite@2.2.4 fix watch will emptyOutDir directly

theprimone profile image
云深 Author
theprimone profile image
云深 Author • Edited

vite build --watch has released at v2.2.0, changelog: v2.1.5...v2.2.0