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

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:24:51 -0400
Message-ID: <5076F2D3.4000204@mit.edu>
To: public-webapps@w3.org
On 10/11/12 9:09 AM, Julian Aubourg wrote:
> Did you ask backend devs why they white-listed browsers?

Yes.  Typically they don't have a good answer past "we felt like it", in 
my experience.  Particularly for the ones that will send you different 
content based on somewhat random parts of your UA string (like whether 
you're using an Irish Gaelic localized browser or not).

> Did you try and educate them?

Yes.  With little success.

> Did you ever encounter any sensible use-case for this?

For serving different content based on UA string?  Sure, though there 
are pretty few such uses cases.

The question is whether it should be possible to spoof the UA to get the 
other set of content.  For example, if I _am_ using an Irish Gaelic 
localized Firefox, should I still be able to get the content the site 
would send to every single other Firefox localization?  Seems like that 
might be desirable, especially because the site wasn't actually _trying_ 
to lock out Gaelic speakers; it just happens to not be very good at 
parsing UA strings.

> You have to be very careful with breaking backward compatibility.

It's not clear to me how the ability to set the UA string breaks 
backwards compatibility, offhand.

-Boris
Received on Thursday, 11 October 2012 16:25:24 GMT

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