The web development community is constantly evolving, with new technologies and best practices emerging all the time. One such change is the deprecation of non-JavaScript module files, as highlighted by the Chromium bug 1173575. This update may seem complex at first, but it’s essential to understand its implications on web development and how to adapt your projects accordingly.

In this blog post, we will delve into the details of crbug/1173575, discussing the reasons behind the change, how it impacts web development, and the steps you should take to ensure your projects continue to run smoothly.

Background: What are Module Files?

Before we dive into the specifics of the deprecation, let’s briefly discuss what module files are and why they’re important. In web development, modules are a way to encapsulate code, allowing for better organization and maintainability of your codebase. They let you separate functionality into distinct, reusable pieces, making it easier to manage complex projects.

JavaScript introduced support for ECMAScript modules (ES modules) in 2015, providing a standardized way to work with modules in the language. ES modules allow developers to import and export functionality between different files, leading to a more modular and maintainable codebase.

The Issue: Non-JS Module Files Deprecated

The crbug/1173575 issue pertains specifically to the deprecation of non-JavaScript module files, which are files that do not use the JavaScript module syntax but are imported as if they were modules. In the past, web developers would use non-JS files (such as CSS, HTML, or JSON) as modules by leveraging various workarounds or tools.

However, as the web platform has matured and become more standardized, this practice has led to complications and inconsistencies. The deprecation of non-JS module files aims to address these issues and improve the overall performance and reliability of web applications.

Reasons for the Change

There are several reasons why the Chromium team decided to deprecate non-JavaScript module files. Here are some of the most significant factors:


The primary goal is to promote the use of standardized module systems and discourage reliance on non-standard practices. This change helps ensure that developers follow best practices when building web applications.


Loading non-JS files as modules can lead to performance issues, especially in larger projects. By discouraging this practice, the Chromium team aims to improve the performance of web applications.


Deprecating non-JS module files simplifies the process of loading and managing resources on the web. It encourages developers to use the appropriate mechanisms for handling different types of resources, such as the import statement for JavaScript modules and the link element for CSS stylesheets.


Some features, such as Service Workers and HTTP/2, have specific requirements and optimizations for JavaScript modules. By moving away from non-JS module files, developers can take full advantage of these modern technologies.

Impact on Web Development

The deprecation of non-JavaScript module files has several implications for web developers:


Developers who relied on non-JS module files in their projects will need to refactor their code to comply with the new standard. This may involve updating import statements, reorganizing files, and implementing alternative strategies for managing resources.

Build tools and libraries

Many build tools and libraries that supported non-JavaScript module files will need to be updated or replaced. Developers should be aware of these changes and be prepared to update their build processes accordingly.

Learning curve

For developers new to JavaScript modules, there may be a learning curve in adapting to the new standard. However, the long-term benefits of using standardized module systems will outweigh the initial time investment required to learn the new syntax and best practices.

Improved performance and maintainability

As developers transition to using standardized JavaScript modules, they can expect better performance and maintainability in their web applications. This will lead to a more efficient and enjoyable development experience.

Enhanced compatibility

By embracing JavaScript modules, developers can more easily leverage modern web technologies and features, ensuring their applications remain compatible with current and future web standards.

How to Adapt Your Projects

To ensure your projects continue to run smoothly and comply with the new standard, follow these steps:

Identify non-JS module files

Review your project and identify any non-JavaScript files being used as modules. This may include CSS, HTML, or JSON files, among others.

Update import statements

Replace non-JS module imports with the appropriate method for the specific resource type. For instance, use the ‘import’ statement for JavaScript modules, the ‘link’ element for CSS stylesheets, and the ‘fetch’ API for loading JSON data.

Reorganize files

If necessary, reorganize your project’s file structure to better accommodate the new module system. This may involve moving JavaScript code to separate files or combining related code into a single module.

Update build tools and libraries

Review your build process and ensure that any tools or libraries you use are compatible with the new module standard. This may require updating to the latest version or finding alternative solutions.

Test your changes

Thoroughly test your updated project to ensure that all functionality works as expected. Be sure to address any issues that arise during this process.


The deprecation of non-JavaScript module files, as detailed in crbug/1173575, is an important change for web developers. By understanding the reasons behind the change and its impact on web development, you can take the necessary steps to adapt your projects and ensure they continue to run smoothly.

By embracing standardized JavaScript modules and moving away from non-JS module files, developers can improve the performance, maintainability, and compatibility of their web applications. While the transition may require some effort, the long-term benefits of using a standardized module system will ultimately lead to a better development experience and more efficient web applications.

Disclaimer: The code snippets and examples provided on this blog are for educational and informational purposes only. You are free to use, modify, and distribute the code as you see fit, but I make no warranties or guarantees regarding its accuracy or suitability for any specific purpose. By using the code from this blog, you agree that I will not be held responsible for any issues or damages that may arise from its use. Always exercise caution and thoroughly test any code in your own development environment before using it in a production setting.

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