Web browsers can be fickle creatures, and occasionally crash for a variety of reasons. However, a bug report on Chrome for Mac has discovered that simply displaying a string of 13 characters causes the browser to crash. This is includes loading pages with the character, e.g. Mac users load Twitter after someone tweets the string out.
Nobody is sure why this particular string causes Chrome to crash, and it would be impossible to say why without an explanation from Google. However, it should be noted that each Chrome tab is a self contained sandbox, which means that the crash will only take own a single tab and not the entire browser. Which classifies this bug as more of an annoyance than actual critical error.
VentureBeat notes that the bug report description is amusingly straightforward; unlike many other reports that take on a more professional look at problems. A cursory look at the problem seems to confirm that the person behind the report was having a very blunt morning.
What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. Any page with [Removed so this article loads for everyone] will crash the Chrome tab on a Mac
2. Just create any dummy page with the unicode characters, and the Mac Chrome tab will crash hard
What is the expected result?
Expect it not to crash
What happens instead?
Tests indicate that this issue only seems to exist on Chrome for Mac, and even then it does not always work. There is some speculation that the browser does not always load characters the same way. That being said, most sites reporting on the issue have not been printing the string of characters that appears to be Assyrian text to avoid crashing the article for readers.
Google is apparently aware of the issue, but it may take a while for the Chrome developers to get around to fixing the problem. Until then, Chrome users on Macs shouldn’t be too surprised if their tabs are crashing more than usual.