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

From: Daniel W. Connolly <connolly@beach.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 18:47:16 -0500
Message-Id: <m0th3I5-0002UXC@beach.w3.org>
To: BearHeart / Bill Weinman <bearheart@bearnet.com>
Cc: Brian Behlendorf <brian@organic.com>, www-talk@w3.org
In message <2.2.32.19960127073753.0075347c@204.145.225.20>, BearHeart / Bill We
inman writes:
>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.  
>
>   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. 

I disagree.

The HTTP specification effort was an open, collaborative effort.
The resulting spec doesn't specify that User-Agent: can be used
reliably for anything. If you make use of it, you do so at your
own risk. Microsoft has merely realized one of the risks. They
have _not_ violated the protocol -- the agreement that is the
result of the open process.

>   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. 

If the netscape browser had included something distinctive
in the Accept: header fields of the requests it sent out, then
information providers could RELIABLY distinguish netscape from
other clients.

The Netscape designers chose not to do that.

We all suffer from the resulting lack of reliability in the system.

Dan
Received on Monday, 29 January 1996 18:47:40 GMT

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