Breaking change in Chrome 96 without any previous notice

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Hans R.

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Dec 1, 2021, 8:02:49 PM12/1/21
to Chromium Extensions
Until Chrome 95, installed app windows had the type "popup" as the value of their chrome.windows.Window.type property.
These are the windows that open up when launching an App from chrome://apps.

However, as of Chrome 96, this property now has the value "app".
As a consequence of this change, our extension is now broken, and we'll have to publish an emergency update to fix the issue.
In the meantime, an undetermined number of people, who relied on our extension for their daily routine, are left stranded with nothing.

Dear Extensions Team, would it be possible that breaking changes like this are notified in advance here in the forum or some other medium?
It really seems quite unprofessional that an API used by so many people is changed in such a careless way with no regard for the consequences.
Please be considerate of us, modest extension developers and the impact on our users.

Thanks.

Cuyler Stuwe

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Dec 1, 2021, 10:55:50 PM12/1/21
to Hans R., Chromium Extensions
Google’s culture is a bit notorious for this kind of unreliability, unfortunately.

For example (in case you missed it) there was a big dramatic pushback on “dev Twitter” from essentially every prominent representative of today’s modern web aside from Google when Google decided they would be changing how “alert” and “confirm” work within Chrome: 


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Hans R.

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Dec 4, 2021, 5:47:59 PM12/4/21
to Chromium Extensions, salem...@gmail.com, Chromium Extensions, Hans R.
You are right, It's a pattern in Google's behavior as a company. They insist in pulling the rug out from under everybody. However, they are not (usually) trying to play "gotcha!". They tend to warn people first, so we can figure out how to cope with the change.
This particular change, however, is a complete surprise. No change in documentation, no forum post, no deprecation warnign anywhere.

It may seem a small and innocuous change, but it's actually quite insidious. The chrome.windows.getAll function always returned ALL windows. But now, as of Chrome 96, it no longer does. The new "app" windows are excluded from the list.
The fix is simple, of course, but those who decided to change this, thinking that was a minor thing, were hugely mistaken.
It's unfortunate that we are facing such level of amateurism.
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