W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > October 2000

Re: User-Agent choice suggestion

From: Terje Bless <link@tss.no>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 00:58:18 +0200
To: W3C Validator <www-validator@w3.org>
cc: Konstantin Riabitsev <graf@relhum.org>, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Message-ID: <20001028014418-r01010600-22945c81@>
On 27.10.00 at 22:33, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net> wrote:

>"Konstantin Riabitsev" <graf@relhum.org> wrote:
>>I use the validator extensively, but I recently started using XML-XSLT
>>combination and some of my sites generate output depending on the
>>client's User-Agent string.
>This is "broken by design". You will have problems [...]

Yes, but I think perhaps emphasis should be on __by_design__ rather then
__broken__ here. It's broken not so much inherently, but rather because it
will impose a significant burden on the developers to keep the different
versions in sync and degrading gracefully. However, User-Agent sniffing to
deliver the most appropriate content to the User-Agent in question can, if
implemented and maintained well, _improve_ accessability for the site.

In particular, it's a way to keep the pixelfreaks happy without serving
utterly borken HTML to users.

It /can/ be used wrong, but there is nothing inherent to User-Agent
sniffing that means it /will/ be. Both clients and servers are explicitly
encouraged to do this anyway for languages and different media types; the
W3C Validator even does it for GIF vs. PNG!

Anyway, I think the idea has enough merit -- and it's easy enough to
implement! :-) -- that I'll take a stab at it[0] when I have the time[1].
Could someone who frequents the JavaScript sites contribute common
User-Agent strings (along with their associated common name (e.g. "MSIE
4.01") so I have something to work with? Konstantin, what's your setup

[0] - No guarantee that my patches will get accepted by the W3C
      obviously, but for anyone who runs it locally it will at
      least be available.

[1] - "Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!" :-)

As a cat owner, I know this for a fact...
Nothing says "I love you" like a decapitated gopher on your front porch.
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 19:44:32 UTC

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