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Re: Microsoft IE -- it just gets better and better (fwd)

From: BearHeart / Bill Weinman <bearheart@bearnet.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 01:37:53 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: Brian Behlendorf <brian@organic.com>, www-talk@w3.org
At 10:11 pm 1/26/96 -0800, Brian Behlendorf spake:
>Maybe we should thank Microsoft for pointing out how silly and utterly 
>useless User-Agent is for content negotiation.  

   Pardon me?



   User-Agent may not be the most technologically whiz-bang thing 
you can think of for content-negotiation, but it works. 

   Your justifying Microsoft's mockery of it is a slap-in-the-face to 
all the people who are working their collective ass off in a monumental, 
cooperative, and VOLUNTEER effort to create a set of standards that 
will allow the Net to grow and thrive. 

   The user-base wants to be able to use Netscape's extensions. That's 
obvious. Depending on who's stat's you choose to believe, Netscape's 
browsers are prefered approx 3:1 over everything else combined. 

   But authors don't want to exclude everyone else, so they USE the 
user-agent string to serve up different content for Netscape and 
all-the-others (even Yahoo! does this). This obviously made Billy G. 
feel left out. He tried to make a DIFFERENT set of extensions 
so HIS TOY could get it's own set of content, but the authors didn't 
buy into it. He was still part of the "all-the-others". 

   So now he's trying to (a) break the system by mocking the user-agent 
tag with that silly "configuration option" (I know what I would put 
in MINE if I was stupid enough to install that piece of @#$! on my 
system again), and/or (b) at least get some of the pretty content 
displayed to his users by sources like "Yahoo!" that actually DO 
serve up different content for "Mozilla" and "All-the-rest". 

   In short, 

   1) the User-Agent tag is USEFUL. 

   2) Your comment is an insult to the people who have been trying 
      to make sense of all of this. 

   3) Microsoft has just made life that much more difficult for 
      those of us who have been successfully negotiating content 
      based on the User-Agent tag. 

   I thank them for nothing, 
       and I thank you for nothing. 


      more of my opinions about the MSIE: 

| BearHeart / Bill Weinman | BearHeart@bearnet.com | http://www.bearnet.com/ 
| Author of The CGI Book -- http://www.bearnet.com/cgibook/ 
Received on Saturday, 27 January 1996 02:38:09 UTC

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