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Re: [XHR] Open issue: allow setting User-Agent?

From: Mike Taylor <miket@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 09:31:23 -0500
To: "Julian Aubourg" <j@ubourg.net>
Cc: public-webapps@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.wl0qmltwnlz9g3@llol.local>

On Thu, 11 Oct 2012 08:09:07 -0500, Julian Aubourg <j@ubourg.net> wrote:

> ... so the burden of proof is on *you*. *You* have to establish the
> consequences of making a backward incompatible change. Not brush away
> arguments pro, or cons, to advance your agenda. Did you ask backend devs
> why they white-listed browsers? Did you try and educate them? Did you  
> ever
> encounter any sensible use-case for this? Do you really want to break a  
> lot
> of backends expectations because you "don't see the reason"?

I personally have contacted hundreds of sites for these types of issues  
over the past few years. We've done the education, outreach, evangelism,  
etc. Success rates are very low, the majority are simply ignored.

> We don't have to prove it is useful. We just have to prove it is used and
> *you* brought this up yourself. Now you want to bypass this by pretty  
> much
> hacking client-side. Please make a compelling case for it.

> I'm sorry but that's complete non-sense. The backend is the provider of  
> the
> data and has all the right when it comes to its distribution. If it's a
> mistake on the backend's side (they filter out while they didn't intend  
> to)
> just contact the backend's maintainer and have them fix this server-side
> problem... well... server-side.

This isn't feasible. There's a whole web out there filled with legacy  
content that relies on finding the string "Mozilla" or "Netscape", for  
example. See also the requirements for navigator.appName,  
navigator.appVersion, document.all, etc. You can't even get close to  
cleaning up the mess of legacy code out there, so you work around it. And  
history repeats itself today with magical strings like "Webkit" and  

What of new browsers, how do they deal with this legacy content? The same  
way that current ones do, most likely -- by pretending to be something  

> The burden of proof is on you. *You* ha

Emphasis with asterisks seems unnecessary aggressive. Perhaps  
unintentionally so. :)


Mike Taylor
Opera Software
Received on Thursday, 11 October 2012 14:32:09 UTC

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