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Re: RFC: draft-brown-device-stock-ua-00.txt

From: Tiffany B. Brown <tiffanyb@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:26:22 -0800
Message-ID: <509AB5DE.4070401@opera.com>
CC: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
On 11/7/12 10:17 AM, Eitan Adler wrote:
> On 7 November 2012 13:04, Tiffany B. Brown <tiffanyb@opera.com> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I've recently submitted an RFC for a new HTTP header: Device-Stock-UA.
>> Feedback is welcome.
>>
>> http://www.ietf.org/staging/draft-brown-device-stock-ua-00.txt

Brief aside: I've been informed that I should have called this an 
Internet Draft (because it is). For the sake of following the 
discussion, I am keeping the original subject line.


> It isn't at all clear to me that this solves the problem:
>
> - the stock services may have been changed. just because a browser
> comes with a device by default doesn't mean it wasn't removed.
> - the capabilities of the third party browser may differ from the
> capabilities of the stock browser

This header should be used in conjunction with feature detection if used 
at all. Perhaps that's worth mentioning in an implementation notes or 
similar?

> - user agent shouldn't be use for capability detection in the first place

Agreed. However, this is precisely how the user agent string is being 
used. This is particularly true for sites and applications that support 
hand-held devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc). Developers are relying 
on the user agent string to determine which image and CSS files to serve.

> - what does the (stock) user agent string have to do with "other
> software that may be running in addition to the user agent"?
>

Developers are also using the user agent string to infer things such as 
the presence of audio and video codecs, plugin availability, and whether 
the OS permits file system access.

- Tiffany

-- 
Tiffany Brown, Developer Relations & Tools
Opera Software ASA (www.opera.com)
Twitter / AIM: webinista * Skype: tiffanybbrown
Received on Wednesday, 7 November 2012 19:26:54 GMT

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