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Re: Browser Developers (A Plea From BrowserWatch)

From: <wmperry@spry.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 95 10:26 PST
Message-Id: <m0rsE4K-00000KC@monolith>
To: Dave Garaffa <d-garaffa@ski.mskcc.org>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
[Dave - this is CC'd to the http working group, but not to the newsgroups]
Dave Garaffa writes:
> <SNIP>
> >
> > I would be in your debt if you could take things one step further.  I am
> > in the process of breaking down the browsers into platform specific pages
> > (so if you want to find out the latest version of say a Mac or Windows
> > browser you are not hit with *every* browser for *every* platform. The
> > problem is we have no way to automate the task of finding out what
> > platform the browser is running on.
[...]
> 
> A usenet no-no but I am following up to my own post...
> 
> Bill Perry at Spry send me an e-mail (it might be on the usenet as well
> but my server doesn't show it yet) and passed the following:
> 
> > >      Microsoft Internet Explorer/1.0alpha (Windows 95)
> > >      Mozilla/1.1b2 (X11; U.S.; OSF1 V3.0 alpha)
> > >      NCSA Mosaic/2.0.0b2rc7 (Windows x86)
> > >      NCSA Mosaic/2.6a1 (Unix/X11)
> >
> >   Do you realize that only Mozilla did this right?  You _CANNOT_ have
> > spaces in a product name.  And your parser at BrowserWatch is a little
> > hosed.  I just sent it:
>
> And yes Bill is right... after RE-READING the spec it does indeed
> indicate the <product> as a <word> and to quote the spec:
> 
> The first white space delimited word must be the software product name,
> with an optional slash and version designator. Other products which form
> part of the user agent may be put as separate words.
> 
> so for a browser to be "up to spec" the would have to use the following:
> 
> NCSA_Mosaic/2.0.0b1 Macintosh/680x0 WWWLib/ver Proxy/ver
> NCSA_Mosaic/2.0.0b1 UNIX/X11 WWWLib/ver Proxy/ver
> Quarterdeck_Mosaic/0.0a3 Windows/16bit WWWLib/ver Proxy/ver
> Quarterdeck_Mosaic/0.0a3 Windows/32bit WWWLib/ver Proxy/ver
> TCP_Connect_II/0.0a1 Macintosh/PPC WWWLib/ver Proxy/ver

  Shouldn't the User-Agent field follow 'normal' specs for headers and do
something like:

User-Agent: agent=NCSA Mosaic/2.0.0b1 ; platform=Macintosh/680x0
            library=WWWLib/3.0.x ; other=Whatever

  This would make it a little easier for people like Dave to parse the
string, without having to worry about order of the arguments, etc.  Plus
this would allow whitespace (but not ;) in the specifier.

-Bill P.

PS: I just sent my subscription request to http-wg, so please CC me on any
    responses for a while to make sure I get them.
Received on Friday, 24 March 1995 10:33:25 EST

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