After launching back in 2008, Chrome will reach version 100 early next year but unfortunately this milestone will cause some websites to no longer work in Google’s browser.
Although there are no major changes or revolutionary new features planned for Chrome 100, the search giant has been aware for some time that this major release will likely lead to problems for older websites. While Chrome 100 will release in March of next year, Google already began warning users and site owners about potential issues in a blog post published in November, saying:
“In the first half of 2022, Chrome will reach a three-digit major version number: 100! When browsers first reached version 10 many eons ago, lots of issues were discovered with User-Agent parsing libraries as the major version number went from one digit to two. Now that we are approaching version 100 in both Chrome and Firefox, with Edge not far behind, we want to detect possible issues related to three-digit version number early, so we are ready when it becomes a reality.”
When Chrome’s major version number goes from two digits to three, websites developed with the web design kit Duda will no longer display correctly. Thankfully though, Google has a plan to avoid disrupting the web and the company has already begun contacting individual developers to warn them about the upcoming change.
User Agent string
In order for a website to know what browser and what version of it you’re currently using, the site will check the User Agent string which is essentially a line of text that your browser attaches to every web connection it makes.
Here is an example of a User Agent string: “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/96.0.4664.110 Safari/537.36”. At the end, you can see “Chrome/96.0.4664.110” which means we’re running Chrome version 96.
The problem with Duda resides in the fact that its developers chose to only read the first two digits so “Chrome/96” would be 96 while “Chrome/100” would be seen as 10 or version 10 to be more precise. To make matters worse, Duda automatically blocks any version of Chrome below version 40. For this reason, Chrome 100 will seen as Chrome 10 and will be automatically blocked by the web design kit, rendering websites built using it unreadable.
While Google has considered forcing the major version number to the minor version position and staying at 99 so “Chrome/100” would instead be “Chrome/99.100”, this is only a backup plan. Instead, the search giant has begun contacting individual developers to let them know about this issue before Chrome 100 is released. Google has also added a new flag to Chrome (#force-major-version-to-100) which developers can use to see whether or not their sites will be affected.
Although moving to version 100 has the potential to disrupt a lot of older sites, Google and Mozilla are working hard to address the issue before the rollouts of version 100 of both Chrome and Firefox next year .
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