XDG open with mouse context?

Last night I built an extension for Gnome/Wayland which opens URLs in a browser window on the active virtual desktop/workspace.
And while discussing it I heard that on X11 some apps (GTK?) on middle click opened browser tab in the background (without activating window and bringing it forward), while left click opened it and activated the browser window.
Does anyone know if that is an actual interface or just a hack watching mouse events and using timers to determine if window should be brought forward? I guess I could mimic it using the hacky approach, but would prefer to do it properly.

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Iā€™m unsure about how an old app may have done this but it is impossible with how we normally launch apps these days.

Being an extension it can always modify window behavior though.

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