As both Chrome and Firefox approach their 100th release, what should be a reason to celebrate the developer could turn into a real problem.
It turns out that, much like the Y2K bug, three-digit numbers encoded in the User-Agents (UA) sections of the browser can cause problems with fewer websites, warns Bleeping Computer.
Mozilla launched an experiment last year to find out if version 100 will affect the site and has just released the results. This affected a small number of pages that could not analyze User-Agents string containing a three-digit number. Notable sites, which are still affected, are HBO Go, Bethesda and Yahoo.
Errors can include “browser not supported” message, pageview issues, parse errors, 403 error, and more.
How could this happen? “Without a single specification to follow, different browsers have different formats for User-Agent arrays and location-specific User-Agent parsing,” Mozilla explains on its blog.
“It is possible that some parsing libraries may have firmly coded assumptions or errors that do not take into account the three-digit numbers of major versions of the program,” he said.
Fortunately, developers have a plan for both search engines. If there are issues with sites that cannot be resolved before the versions are released, both browsers will freeze the version numbers to 99 in the User-Agents arrays or enter code substitutions to resolve the issues.
Both browsers also asked developers to test their sites with Firefox / Chrome 100 User-Agents. Browsers should arrive on March 29 (Chrome) and May 3 (Firefox).