Version 100 of browsers can break some websites

Version 100 of the major web browsers is on the way and can be a problem managing web pages. When the version number of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge reaches three digits, many websites will not be able to deal with the corresponding user agent strings.

Remember the 2000 effect? The potential “millennium bug” caused tremendous concern as it was feared that the computer systems that govern the entire planet might not be able to correctly interpret the two-digit date” 00». It was feared that ATMs would not work or planes would fall from the sky. Fortunately none of that happened, but now there is a comparable problem (technically) for web browsers.

When web browsers went from version 9 to version 10 there were similar problems. Some of you will remember the Y2K bug. Other known ones were the compatibility problems that Microsoft had in the development of Windows 9 (it could be confused with Windows 95 or Windows 98) and hence the system ended up being launched under the name of Windows 10. Or how Microsoft internally labeled modern Windows as 6x. (Windows 8.1 reports itself as Windows 6.3 to avoid app compatibility issues.)

Version 100 of browsers

When you try to access a web page like MuyComputer, your device sends a request for that page that includes a user agent string. For example Firefox’s is “Firefox: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:96.0) Geco/20100101 Firefox/96.0”. Web browsers use different formats for this, but due to the way some user agent parsing libraries work, they can cause problems reading three-digit version numbers. (If you want more technical information, otsukare explains it well)

Developers from all vendors have been testing the three-digit version jump for months. Mozilla started an experiment to find out if three-digit version numbers could cause problems and found that some websites weren’t loading or working properly. Google works in a similar way, allowing developers to force the v100 user agent string for testing purposes.

Browser developers are still working and we assume that the big portals will load correctly to avoid a crisis. But there will be smaller ones that fail. A short-term solution to avoid version 100 browser issues is to have the major version temporarily frozen at version 99, at least at the user agent code level. We will know soon. Chrome 100 should arrive in late March and Firefox 100 in early May.