Versions 100 of Chrome and Firefox could break websites in the coming months

Remember the Millennium Bug, where people began doomsday prepping in case computers suddenly crashed as we rang in the year 2000?

Well the same sort of thing could soon happen to websites, with Chrome, Firefox and Edge all updating to version 100 of their respective browser software in the coming months.

It is something that the companies behind all three browsers are acutely aware of and in recent months have been warning internet users and websites about. In fact, Mozilla (which runs Firefox) recently ran a test to see whether a move to version of its browser would indeed break some websites.

Unfortunately it did. The numbers were not huge, but as a GitHub tracking site showcases, there are some notable sites on that incompatibility list, such as Bethesda and Yahoo.

“Major version 100 is a big milestone for both Chrome and Firefox. It also has the potential to cause breakage on websites as we move from a two-digit to a three-digit version number,” highlighted Mozilla in a blog post.

“Web developers use all kinds of techniques for parsing these strings, from custom code to using User-Agent parsing libraries, which can then be used to determine the corresponding processing logic. The User-Agent and any other version reporting mechanisms will soon report a three-digit version number,” it adds.

Ahead of versions 100 rolling out for Chrome and Firefox, steps are being taken to ensure thorough testing is done and websites have enough of a heads up to ensure that are compatible.

“Version 100 browsers will be first released in experimental versions (Chrome Canary, Firefox Nightly), then beta versions, and then finally on the stable channel,” Mozilla explains.

The current timeline for versions 100 of Chrome and Firefox are 29th March and 3rd May respectively. Edge is also expected to update in March, but at the time of writing, no plan has been detailed regarding its approach to this anomaly.

Those running Safari need not fret.

If you own or run a website, the onus is on you now to ensure that version 100 will not impact visitor traffic, which is of course the lifeblood for any online publication.

[Image – Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash]


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