Chrome and Firefox Reaching Ver. 100 Could Be a Problem

Some websites that need to know browser version numbers may break

Both the Chrome and Firefox web browsers are a few version updates away from 100, and there are concerns that the third digit could break some websites.

Developers and engineers from both Google and Mozilla have released a report explaining why they're a little nervous about their respective browser versions nearing the triple digits. With Chrome's set for a public release at the end of March and Firefox's set for early May, there isn't much time left to prepare. Though, in fairness, the potential issue wasn't exactly a surprise.

Three candles in the shape of the number 100

Caspar Benson / Getty Images

These worries stem from a problem similar to the Y2K bug from 20+ years ago: programs not accounting for larger numbers. Specifically, in this case, some websites are set up to look for browser version numbers but may not be able to account for anything above 99.

According to the report, a similar issue occurred roughly a decade ago when browsers first moved into double-digits. The belief is that, because changes had to be made to account for one extra digit, some companies thought ahead to three digits (or more). And there is some weight to that assertion as several tests have shown some systems accept the change with no problem, while others encounter some issues.

Businessman sitting behind a notebook computer with a look on his face as if something very bad just happened.

jhorrocks / Getty Images

Chrome and Firefox are both continuing to run tests and will be addressing any of the errors they find up until their respective version 100 releases. They also have backups prepared in the event that the change causes bigger problems than expected. And there are ways we can help, too.

If you'd like to assist, both browsers have an option to 'trick' websites into thinking they're version 100. All you need to do is turn the option on, then use your browser as usual and report any problems you encounter.

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