So yesterday Google rolled out version 12 of the Chrome browser. Some improvements and fixes as there usually is, but one thing was missing that you might not have known about: Google Gears.
Google Gears added “new” features to browsers that allowed them to store data locally and interact with you desktop via your web browser. However, for over a year now Google has been blogging about doing away with Google Gears in favor of HTML5.
Of course this is all fine and dandy unless you have developed a web application that is wholly based on the Google Gears application.
Even so, this still isn’t a problem unless you happen to be using Chrome as your browser of choice, have not changed the defaults away from automatic updating, and do not follow the Google Gears development blog or roadmap to be aware of the changes.
Today all three strikes went against one of the vendors I work with.
Early this morning they sent out an e-mail stating that critical functionality was broken because customers Chrome browsers automatically updated themselves yesterday and today.
Users were treated to an error when they went into key parts of the application.
They quickly issued a fix of downgrading Chrome and turning off automatic updates, but it’s was/is a band-aid to a bigger issue.
I guess my point on this is to always, always, always keep in close contact with those organizations who’s framework or application you are running or developing with.
In this case it was a major player that had done it’s due diligence blogging to the public about the exclusion long before it came. This particular vendor just didn’t have their ear to the ground and now will, in all likelihood, be backtracking on all of their hard work over the past year.
I am grateful for one thing in all this though, the version with the problem hadn’t got deployed to production because (for one) we hadn’t fully tested the Chrome browser with this application for what now seem like obvious reasons.