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HTTP USER-AGENT header question

From: Louis Atkinson <louis@highermind.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 00:02:10 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B77A8281.536F%louis@highermind.org>
Hi,

apologies if this is not apropos, but searching the list archives gave me a
lot of hits, and the ones I browsed did not answer my question.

Question:
Has there been any discussion on creating a standard for how accessible user
agents will identify themselves to the server?

I have been trying to compile a list of the USER-AGENT HTTP headers used by
accessible browsers. It struck me that if they all contained a string in
common (similar to the way that many browsers use "Mozilla") it would make
it easier to send them to a version of the site that has no graphics or
specialized scripting. Something like having the string "WAI", rather than
"Mozilla", and then the various product tokens, is what I am thinking.

I am holding text content in a database and wrapping the interface around it
to suit the capabilities of the user agents which access it, so can and do
do this.

My other main problem is that many people seem to be using screen reader
plug-ins for IE and Netscape which do not allow for easy access to the
relevant user agent string, but I am still convinced that there is a need
for there to be some intelligence on the server side for these things.

The page I have made to gather and list USER-AGENT strings is located here:
http://www.highermind.org/design/user_agent/
so if you know anyone who wants to add to it, it has a script that will get
the string and add it to the database.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,
Louis Atkinson
Higher Mind Productions
http://www.highermind.com/
Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2001 01:00:34 GMT

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