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Re: remove/deprecate User-Agent header?

From: Henrik Nordström <henrik@henriknordstrom.net>
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2010 01:11:33 +0200
To: Paul Wise <pabs3@bonedaddy.net>
Cc: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <1283728293.4459.85.camel@henriknordstrom.net>
tor 2010-08-19 klockan 11:31 +0000 skrev Paul Wise:

> I found out about httpbis and the first thing I thought of was my hatred
> of the User-Agent header.

I would argue that the hatred is misguided and should be directed to
those who decided to lie about their User-Agent by default to begin with
instead of taking the fight with content providers or at least placing
this lie under the control of the user thereby placing indirect pressure
on content providers. I do maintain that this persisting lying is a
major contributor to the fact that no one have learned how to properly
handle User-Agent.

The real error started with some content providers wrongly using a
User-Agent based whitelist "you must use one of these selected browsers
to view our content", instead of a blacklist and disclaimer stating
tested browsers and defaulting to latest generation if requesting
browser is not recognized giving those unrecognized browsers a challenge
to stand up to, limiting use for lying to "dumbing down" instead of
"boosting".

today it's also seen in some cases for similar but very different
reasons, such as the apple quicktime check.

User-Agent is there for a reason, to help interoperability. Teaching
site designers to use it wisely is no different from teaching them to
use other web constructs wisely. 

Regards
Henrik
Received on Monday, 6 September 2010 12:34:48 GMT

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