Google, which makes Chrome, and Mozilla, which makes Firefox, warn that those web browsers are about to reach version 100. And that could mean major websites stop working properly with them.
Why? Coded to recognize two-digit version numbers, websites may have trouble identifying browsers with three-digit numbers.
Chrome and Firefox version 100 could mean trouble
Chrome, now on version 98, is set to turn over to 100 on March 29. Firefox, on version 97, should hit 1oo on May 3. When those version numbers have three digits, Mozilla said inconsistent problems could occur across a variety of websites.
Mozilla indicated that website servers examine the so-called User-Agent to determine the browser in use. Based on that information, they configure sites to display properly.
“Without a single specification to follow,” Mozilla said in a blog post, “different browsers have different formats for the User-Agent string, and site-specific User-Agent parsing. It’s possible that some parsing libraries may have hard-coded assumptions or bugs that don’t take into account three-digit major version numbers.”
Not the first time
Mozilla pointed out that sites faced a similar issue when browser version numbers moved from single- to double-digits. “So hitting the three-digit milestone is expected to cause fewer problems,” it said.
Even so, Firefox and Chrome developer tests and issue logs show websites reporting bugs with a version 100, including T-Mobile, Yahoo and Daimler.
“If the breakage is widespread and individual site interventions become unmanageable, Mozilla can temporarily freeze Firefox’s major version at 99 and then test other options,” the company said.
Along the same lines, Google Chrome developers have a “backup plan to use a flag to freeze the major version at 99.”
You want to check whether your website will suffer consequences. Mozilla provided instructions for testing.