Chrome and Firefox may “break” sites in their next versions; understand the reason

Deepak Gupta February 17, 2022
Updated 2022/02/17 at 7:43 PM

Google Chrome will reach version 100 on March 29, 2022, while Mozilla Firefox will reach version 100 on May 3. Interesting? Yes. But what is the importance of the two most popular browsers reaching the triple digits so close to each other? The importance is that when reaching the three-digit version, it is expected that several internet sites have errors when loading their pagesresulting in complete chaos as expected in the famous “millennium bug” of the 2000s.

Sites like Bleeping Computer point out that several internet pages, many with large numbers of daily accesses, will present errors when loading the latest version of browsers. The result of this will be a few days of very difficult surfing the net.

What is the reason for the browser bug?

The reason for such errors lies in the moment the browser needs to connect to a website, it sends a request called user-agent. What happens is that as there is no specified standard, in general terms, the sites are not prepared to receive requests from browsers from version 100 onwards, which will arrive with three characters.

Sites like HBO Max, Yahoo and Bethesda had problems with version 100 of Firefox

Until version 99.X, the request arrives with only two characters. In this way, the libraries of the sites are already prepared to read the string and draw conclusions that affect the codes. From the new version, sites will need to take into account the three characters to properly load the page. Which can cause a lot of errors. If you still don’t understand, interpret as if the sender of a letter was not recognized by the Post Office and then returned.

If you think the sites will be ready for such a change by the time of the update, don’t be fooled. Recently, Mozilla did a little test and found that big sites like HBO Max, Yahoo and Bethesda had loading issues. Both Google and Mozilla are running a campaign to speed up the process of updating websites’ libraries to avoid bugs widespread across the web.

How does the user-agent work?

Below I will show you a small example of how the user-agent request performed between the browser and the accessed site works. When connecting to a website using Google Chrome, version 98 from a Mac PC with OS 10, the string formed by the user-agent request will have the following format:

  • Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/98.0.4758.80 Safari/537.36

In bold you see both the OS version and the Chrome version. If the browser version was the one with three digits (Chrome/100.x.xxxxx) there is a possibility that the site in question cannot read the request and crash.

From the outside, it looks simple, doesn’t it? but in reality there is a lot of work to be done to avoid such problems when new versions of Chrome and Firefox are released.


Are you thinking about buying a product online? Discover the Save the Connected World extension for Google Chrome. It is free and offers you price comparisons at major stores and coupons so you can always buy at the best price. Download now.

Source: Bleeping Computer, Engadget

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thumbnails managed by ThumbPress