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Firefox and Chrome’s newest version 100 may break websites

Leri Koen

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Two of the most prominent web browsers in the world will reach a major milestone. Firefox, developed by Mozilla and Chrome by Google, will celebrate the release of the 100th version of their browsers. However, there is a concern that this release will break some websites. Will this be Y2K all over again?

Bleeping Computer reported that, similar to the original Y2K bug that caused panic in 2000, these new releases may also cause issues with certain websites. The problem with the release is the triple-digit release number coded into the browser’s User-Agent (UA).

Firefox and Chrome’s newest version 100 may break websites

In light of this potential issue, Mozilla launched an investigation last year to see how version 100 might affect websites. The results released in a blog recently showed that there were a few websites affected. Although there weren’t many, the list did include a few big websites such as HBO Go, Bethesda, and Yahoo. When trying to access these sites with Firefox version 100, they were ‘browser not supported, messages, site rendering issues, parsing failures, 403 errors, and more.

This seems to be happening because the various browsers have different formats for the User-Agent strings and specific user-agent parsing techniques. Mozilla suspects that some parsing libraries have hard-coded assumptions that don’t account for the three-digit version numbers.  

Luckily, both Google and Mozilla have plans to bypass these issues if a resolution isn’t possible before the release of Firefox and Chrome version 100. In this case, both will freeze the version number at 99 in the UA string. They may also inject code overrides to fix the issues. 

Chrome version 100 is currently set to release on March 29, and Firefox version 100 should release on May 3. We look forward to this milestone release for both browser developers.

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