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Three major browsers are about to hit version 100. Will websites cope?

Build numbers causing problems: Truly, what is new is old again

This February Google put out Chrome 98, closely followed by Mozilla releasing Firefox 97. Soon both will hit version 100.

The memory of the web industry is short. This has happened before: when Opera reached version 10 in 2009, it caused problems, and just three years later, Firefox 10 faced similar issues.

And it will happen again. Google is planning to release Chrome 100 at the beginning of April, and Firefox 100 should follow in May.

Google anticipates that there will be some issues, so ever since Chrome 96 it has offered a facility to force the version number to 100: just go to chrome://flags and set #force-major-version-to-100.

Then you can test it on

Mozilla too foresees issues and is testing for them. Its bug tracker still shows over 20 problematic sites.

And as Microsoft now uses a flavour of Chromium, this also affects Edge and the company is checking.

There is some advice for web developers – instance check user-agents' version numbers as integers, not as strings.

As Chrome will go first, the handful of remaining Firefox users will have another reason to feel smug – by the time Firefox's version number catches up, most sites should have fixed it. As Safari is only up to version 15, Apple users can feel smug too. No change there, then. ®

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