W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > June 2008

Re: new feature: parameter for specific User-Agent identification

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 18:15:35 +0200
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <F1F8BB96-9C73-4652-8BF0-2652782799AB@w3.org>
To: "Frank Ellermann" <hmdmhdfmhdjmzdtjmzdtzktdkztdjz@gmail.com>

Hi Frank, all.

On 11-Jun-08, at 9:16 PM, Frank Ellermann wrote:
>> I therefore suggest implementing:
>> * a user-agent parameter for the check script
>> * values can be:
>>   - auto (equivalent to none) -> the usual validator UA applies
>>   - forward (and maybe "referer" too?) -> will forward the UA string
>> as received by the validator. Modulo some sanitizing?
>>   - mobileok -> will output the UA as defined in http://www.w3.org/TR/mobileOK-basic10-tests/#http_request
>>   - any other string -> sanitize? and use as UA HTTP header.
> Sounds good, I hope "forward" covers "no UA" and "no referer".
> Maybe you need to map an empty "other string" to "no UA".

There are a couple of interesting thoughts here. First, I admit I  
hadn't thought much about "no UA". To me it is usually not a good idea  
to not have a UA header at all - that's the prerogative of broken bots  
- should we really have that?

This makes me think maybe when a UA is requested we should use that  
custom of adding a (Compatible; W3C Markup Validator <version)) ?

Not sure I understood what you meant be “no referer”. I may have been  
confusing in my original message - the scope of this discussion is  
only the User-Agent header, and I was thinking of using "referer" as a  
value that would trigger forwarding the User-Agent string.

>> not add any graphical UI.
> Difficult question.  It might be interesting to see if the UA
> has any desired or dubious effect, but web masters might hate
> it when their activities can be tracked with the validator ;-)

True. Let's start with a non-GUI solution and see if a demand for it  

Thank you.
Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 16:18:44 UTC

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