For 22 years, Firefox had a bug that displayed a link to a pinned tab even if the browser was minimized or blocked by other programs. And in September, this problem was finally solved, writes Ars Technica.
If you had pinned tabs in your browser and you hovered over one of them, a small tooltip appeared showing the full name of the pinned site and a link to it. If you did not remove the cursor from this tab and minimize the browser using, for example, Alt+Tab, the tooltip with the link would still remain on the screen.
22 years ago, a bug report was opened on the official Mozilla forum for this problem. Over the years, feedback has been collected there from various users, sometimes even specifically trying to reproduce the problem to make sure it wasn’t fixed. One user wrote the following:
This 21 year old bug is still open. It is quite annoying, to be frank — happens to me at least once per day. That said, given its longevity, I’m kinda partial to let it be forever. It feels like a relic from the past.
Yifan Zhu, a 23-year-old programmer who, like many other users, also saw the problem, decided to tell the developers about it, only to find out that it had been known for more than 20 years. The bug was described as a cosmetic one that did not affect the browser’s performance. In a conversation with Ars Technica, the guy said that most likely, if he hadn’t taken up the issue, no one would have.
Zhu, although he didn’t have much experience, researched the issue and wrote a patch that made the tooltip disappear when Firefox stopped being the main window, rather than when you removed the cursor from it. Zhu later contacted a Mozilla developer who helped him add the patch to the browser’s core code.
Thus, 22 years after the first report, the annoying but already legendary bug was fixed.