Major websites may stop working soon for Firefox and Chrome users

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2022
Mozilla is warning users that when Firefox -- and Google's Chrome -- reach version 100, major websites may no longer identify them properly, and not work properly as a result.




Firefox is currently on version 97, while Chrome is on version 98. Once those are updated to version numbers with three digits, Mozilla says there are could be inconsistent problems across an unpredictable range of websites.

According to Mozilla, website servers examine what's called the User-Agent in order to determine which browser is being used. They then use that information to configure sites so that they display correctly.

"Without a single specification to follow," says Mozilla in a blog post, "different browsers have different formats for the User-Agent string, and site-specific User-Agent parsing. It's possible that some parsing libraries may have hard-coded assumptions or bugs that don't take into account three-digit major version numbers."

Mozilla points out that sites had to cope with a similar issue arose with the move from single- to double-digit version numbers, "so hitting the three-digit milestone is expected to cause fewer problems."

Nonetheless, Firefox and Chrome developers are running experiments, and also logging issues. Currently, the list of sites reporting bugs with a version 100 include T-Mobile, Yahoo, and Daimler.

"If the breakage is widespread and individual site interventions become unmanageable," continues the blog post, "Mozilla can temporarily freeze Firefox's major version at 99 and then test other options."

Similarly, the developers working on Google Chrome have a "backup plan to use a flag to freeze the major version at 99."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 287member
    I will quit updating mine NOW but will they let us know if they have fixed the problem so we can go back to updating?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 45
    I'm not saying they deserve it, but maybe if they had used versioning numbers properly they wouldn't be in this mess :)
    Beatseleven9ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 45
    The graphic for this story put a smile on my face. Good job.
    mac_dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,272member
    Would you mind reading your story and fixing your grammar? It was difficult getting through the second and third paragraphs. Nothing personal, just mixed up words. 
    mac_dogeleven9boxcatcherwatto_cobrakingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 5 of 45
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,464member
    It's the website issue with their software reading only two digits. I consider that poor practice. It should allow 4 digits (allowing 9999) which gives them plenty of headroom. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 45
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,540member
    So where is the part where you tell us that we need to recruit a bunch of long-retired COBOL programmers to figure out how to fix this issue?

    Just when we thought we’d miraculously dodged Y2K Armageddon … we are now faced with V100 Hell. 

    As long as water keeps coming out of my pipes and the lights stay on, I’m not too worried.
    jimdreamworxseanjheadfull0winewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    There’s nothing wrong with the versioning. This isn’t like the the problem we had with the two dogot dating used before the turn of the century. Wit this, it’s purely a fault with the system used in many websites.
    Xedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 45
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,860member
    *sigh* Y2K all over again. We found and fixed SO MANY things leading up to that. Mostly silly shortcuts that programmers took. They cut corners and it came back to bite them. Same thing here. Why did they give a fixed digit space for version. The article even said they ran into this going from single to two digit version numbers. They should have taken care of it once and for all. 
    Xedseanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 45
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,076member
    rob53 said:
    Would you mind reading your story and fixing your grammar? It was difficult getting through the second and third paragraphs. Nothing personal, just mixed up words. 
    Thank you. Proper grammar is still important in getting your message across and, at the very least, if you don’t want your message to be misconstrued. 
    watto_cobrakingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 10 of 45
    XedXed Posts: 2,704member
    I'm not saying they deserve it, but maybe if they had used versioning numbers properly they wouldn't be in this mess :)
    They are consecutive. There's nothing wrong with how they version their SW.
    killroycropr
  • Reply 11 of 45
    I'm trying to figure out exactly how the parser would screw this up.

    User Agent strings are very messy strings, so analysis of them (in javascript for instance) is usually done with exact matching. I have a few exclusions that are done this way, to prevent specific old versions of browsers from accessing my web apps, but those are specific exclusions. Everything else should be an automatic inclusion, because you can't predict what you'll get hit with. You want to allow everything and only disallow specific things.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 45
    I've been using Google Chrome Canary v 100.x.xxxx.x without a hitch. 
  • Reply 13 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Shades of the Y2K apocalypse😂
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 45
    I think in the scheme  things it will all  work out. A global pandemic kind of puts these things in to perspective  :)

    Did people not see this issue coming?  I mean at some point a 2 digit agent identify isn’t going to work any more.  I know Safari allows you to change agent identification, surely Firefox could emulate an older versions automatically if needed. 
    edited February 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    bfranks said:
    I think in the scheme  things it will all  work out. A global pandemic kind of puts these things in to perspective  :)

    Did people not see this issue coming?  I mean at some point a 2 digit agent identify isn’t going to work any more.  I know Safari allows you to change agent identification, surely Firefox could emulate an older versions automatically if needed. 
    I don't see this as a browser issue. I see this as a lack of forward thinking on the part of web servers that only accept 2 digit ids. Let the web server developers get their acts together.
    killroybfrankswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 45
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Y2K
    part II
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 45
    What if someone figures out those two digits are two-characters...

    Lots of Unicode to version with!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 45
    lkrupp said:
    bfranks said:
    I think in the scheme  things it will all  work out. A global pandemic kind of puts these things in to perspective  :)

    Did people not see this issue coming?  I mean at some point a 2 digit agent identify isn’t going to work any more.  I know Safari allows you to change agent identification, surely Firefox could emulate an older versions automatically if needed. 
    I don't see this as a browser issue. I see this as a lack of forward thinking on the part of web servers that only accept 2 digit ids. Let the web server developers get their acts together.
    When Microsoft releases a new OS upgrade, you can be sure they test hundreds of apps on hundreds of different PCs (tens of thousands of combinations) before they release the OS upgrade. Even though Microsoft doesn't have the legal responsibility to ensure compatibility, I really appreciate that they try. Browser developers should do the same thing, because browsers are akin to an OS for so many people and purposes.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 45
    lkrupp said:
    bfranks said:
    I think in the scheme  things it will all  work out. A global pandemic kind of puts these things in to perspective  :)

    Did people not see this issue coming?  I mean at some point a 2 digit agent identify isn’t going to work any more.  I know Safari allows you to change agent identification, surely Firefox could emulate an older versions automatically if needed. 
    I don't see this as a browser issue. I see this as a lack of forward thinking on the part of web servers that only accept 2 digit ids. Let the web server developers get their acts together.
    When Microsoft releases a new OS upgrade, you can be sure they test hundreds of apps on hundreds of different PCs (tens of thousands of combinations) before they release the OS upgrade. Even though Microsoft doesn't have the legal responsibility to ensure compatibility, I really appreciate that they try. Browser developers should do the same thing, because browsers are akin to an OS for so many people and purposes.

    This about WEB servers not an OS problem. Web servers run an app on a PC that is internet facing. It 's the app that needs updating. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 45
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,789member
    This wouldnt be an issue if they didn't use such ridiculous versioning.
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