An oral (written?) history of my chromium bug. Allow my journey to add some clarity as to how a regular run-of-the-mill bug gets processed for one of the most used pieces of software in the world.

On July 5th 2016 I noticed something odd happening. I was using srcset to load images based on browser width. However as I resized my browser to switch between the two images I noticed in the networking tab that it continually redownloaded the image. No bueno.

lots of downdloads of same image as browser resizes.

I concede this is a somewhat unique usecase, but it didn‘t seem like something that should be happening. And it was only happening on the Chrome browser.

So I filed a bug on the chromium bug tracker: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=625797#c36

Heres a rough timeline of the events:

  • Jul 08 2016: First series of responses by 3 team members. One of them asking me to setup an example of the issue.
  • Jul 11 2016: I respond with a more detailed test case. And Yoav Weiss (yes that Yoav Weiss of responsive image fame) correctly identifies that it might be an issue with caching headers.
  • Sept 6 2016: Yoav is having issues reproducing. For some reason I miss these messages, I guess life got in the way ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
  • Mar 29 2017: Someone adds Addy Osmani to the convo! Which triggers an email to my inbox. I volunteer to keep helping them figure this out.
  • Apr 10 - 13 2017: Yoav asks me to setup something online he can poke at. I do.
  • May 18 - Sep 5 2017: A lot of back and forth about finding time for them to look at server. Causing me to eventually just turn server off.
  • 8 Aug 31 2018: More than 2 years have passed and the world is a barren wasteland. Also Yoav wants me to spin up a new example server. I do so.
  • Sep 5 2018: They figure out it is the no cache header caused by the WEbrick (jekyll) server that is being improperly interpreted by the srcset causing the redownloads.
  • Sep 13 2018: We all know whats wrong, and its up to them to decide how they want to fix it.
  • May 29 2019: A fix was added. We all said thanks for the past 3 years and went on our merry ways.

So now you‘ve peeked behind the curtain of how one of the most popular browsers in the world gets improved upon. It‘s not that scary. Hope you find and file your own bug and help the software all of us use every day get a little better.