Friday, December 19th, 2008

Browser version 10 the new Y2K

Category: Fun, Opera

Here is a fun one for Friday, Hallvord Steen discusses the error reports coming in for Opera 10 that are to do with the version number.

That’s right, it appears that a number of people use the first character as the version number, which means that Opera 10 is showing up as Opera 1:

So we’re busy preparing the major upgrade from 9.5x and 9.6x – and what’s more obvious than calling it Opera 10? What’s in a name, or a version number?

Apparently a lot of trouble.

As Andrew Gregory already noticed, we’re the first browser ever to release with a two-digit version number. If websites assume that version numbers always have a one-letter “major” part and look for a single digit, they are going to “detect” Opera 1!

Since we released the first preview of Opera 10, we’re seeing the bug reports come in. Web sites go belly up because of their bad sniffing.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 3:30 am

4.6 rating from 34 votes


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This bug also happened when Flash 10 was released with our ad serving company. They are a big company that handles lot’s of other people’s ad networks as well.

I was astounded that the people working at this company did not know that Flash 10 had been released 3 weeks earlier and that their retarded code only looked at the first character of the version string. A simple preg replace does the trick.

Talk about retarded.

Comment by johnamartin — December 19, 2008

this bad script writing (assuming one character version numbers) sucks… admittedly… but, I must also say… Opera is the first to release 10 major versions of their browser? Could that be because they’ve released (too frequently) earlier, crappier versions? :)

Comment by shadedecho — December 19, 2008

This is funny news, but it’s this kind of programming that is hindering real progress on the web, creating a “No Code Left Behind” environment for IE.

Comment by zachleat — December 19, 2008

Doesn’t surprise me at all. Bank of America’s Online System is one of the crappiest amongst big U.S banks. Their online credit card payment system doesn’t even accept payments from other checking accounts, just BoFA ones.

Comment by vmorale4 — December 19, 2008

“Opera releasing too much bad code”? Not in my experience .. that would bump the minor or maintenance level numbers, anyway. IME, Opera’s number is larger because they’ve established achievable, worthwhile objectives, hit them, and released meaningful upgrades.

Comment by jackr — December 19, 2008

Yahoo’s website says my browser isn’t supported, and shows nothing but that message, which includes Opera 9 as a choice to “upgrade”. Lame! I find it hard to fathom how companies that specialize in web content can get this wrong.

Comment by ToadskinSuitcase — December 19, 2008

Opera is the oldest browser on the planet, and unless you count IE – which didn’t have updates for like *7 years* or something. It’s almost twice as old as all the other browsers on the planet *combined*…!
So a version no 10 would be quite natural for them compared to IE (7, 8 coming) and FF with 3.x and Chrome with 1.0
Regarding the “browser wars” BTW it seems that more people then us are beginning to plaster “best viewed with non-IE browsers” on their websites ;)

Comment by ThomasHansen — December 19, 2008

You’re probably right … ;)
Though Opera is the oldest one *still* being used (at least to “some extend” unless you count Netscape’s 0.0000003% usage … or something – as usage)

Comment by ThomasHansen — December 19, 2008

Just another example of the problem with UA sniffing. This happens with pretty much every release of any browser.

Comment by MattCoz — December 19, 2008

They should use a hexadecimal versioning scheme! Opera A!

Comment by aljames — December 20, 2008

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