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user agent header question

From: Denis A. Doroshenko <d.doroshenko@omnitel.net>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 09:11:51 +0200
To: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Message-ID: <20000314091150.F5021@comrade.desert.lt>
i have one simple question: why user-agent header isn't standardized to
return much more useful information that it does today? it says completely
nothing about what is supported at client side, and we see so many
javascripts on the net, that perform sily detection of browser and
guess what that browser can. it would be much more useable to have
standardized header (why not User-Agent?) in a form like:

User-Agent: <user_agent_description> <header_separator> <supported_features_list>

where (mix of regex and C style declarations)

<user_agent_description>  -- <any_char> *
<header_separator>        -- "::"
<supported_features_list> -- <feature> [<feature_separator> <feature> \
                             [<feature_separator> <feature> [...]]]

<feature>                 -- <feature_name>[<info_separator> <additional_info>]
<feature_name>            -- <char> +
<info_separator>          -- '/'
<additional_info>         -- <char> +
<feature_separator>       -- ','

<any_char>                -- ' ' .. '\x7f'
<char>                    -- '!' .. '\x7f' # no space

that would return for example

User-Agent: Mozilla/4.61 [en] (X11; U; OpenBSD 2.6 i386; Nav) :: HTML/4.0,JavaScript/1.2,Java/1.2.2,Frames,DHTML,Stylesheets

(well, don't really pay attention to the numbers and items :-) instead of:

User-Agent: Mozilla/4.61 [en] (X11; U; OpenBSD 2.6 i386; Nav)

the reason is: the first header says me everything about what the
browser supports, and the second gives nothing. it also seems
reasonable to me to add this information to User-Agent header,
becasue it lists features of the borwser. however, it would
be anything bad if it would be User-Agent-Supports or something
like that.

Thank you in advance!..
Denis A. Doroshenko
Omnitel Ltd., Sevcenkos 25, Vilnius 2600, Lithuania
Received on Tuesday, 14 March 2000 07:15:46 UTC

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