Google Chrome update helps websites dodge imminent Y2K-style disaster

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Monticello / Shutterstock)

Google has added new functionality to its Chrome browser to make sure the Y2K-styled bug that broke many websites ages ago doesn’t repeat in the near future. 

The Google Chrome browser is currently at its 96th iteration, and sooner rather than later, it will achieve the milestone of its 100th version. That, if history is any indication, could potentially result in some websites not being displayed correctly. 

In an announcement published on the Chromium blog earlier this week, Google reminded that when Chrome first jumped from a single-figure version to a double-figure one (versions 9 to 10), this didn’t sit well with some older websites.

Chrome 98 beta

Now, as version 100 approaches, Google wants to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

“To help site owners test for the new string, Chrome 96 introduced a runtime flag that causes Chrome to return '100' in its user agent string,” the blog reads. “This new flag called chrome://flags/#force-major-version-to-100 has been available from Chrome 96 onward.”

Those looking to learn more about the issue, and how Google plans on solving it, can find more information on this link.

In the same announcement, Google also said that it’s currently testing Chrome 98 beta. This version comes with additional tweaks and improvements, such as the support for COLRv1 color gradient vector fonts, as an additional new font format.

The company also introduced the Origin Trials, in this version. This feature allows users to test new features and give feedback on usability, practicality, and effectiveness to the web standards community. Those interested in registering for any of the Origin Trials currently supported in Chrome, should navigate to this link.

Other features include auto Keyword for contain-intrinsic-size, AudioContext.outputLatency, CSS color adjustments, and document.adoptedStyleSheets now being mutable. More details about these features, as well as others, can be found on this link

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.