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Re: Issue 166: clarify term "User Agent" and resolve inconsistencies with W3C specs

From: William A. Rowe Jr. <wrowe@rowe-clan.net>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 14:27:57 -0800
Message-ID: <4EE139ED.9080805@rowe-clan.net>
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
On 12/8/2011 12:33 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:
> Le 8 déc. 2011 à 14:55, Larry Masinter a écrit :
>> I think Karl's rewording is worse. The point I really wanted to make was that documents that follow HTTP terminology often make the mistake of assuming a "user agent" has a "user".
> Ahah! I didn't have the initial context. :)
>> But if "client" means the same thing as "user agent", then why have a separate term?
> I would rather prefer client everywhere too.
> What wikipedia says: 
> 	In computing, a user agent is a client application 
> 	implementing a network protocol used in communications 
> 	within a client–server distributed computing system.
> 	— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_agent

We just had this discussion at the ASF httpd project.

In a proxy chain, each proxy server is a user agent itself reaching
out to the next server in the chain.  It is possible to describe
these each as clients, but when you start looking at end-to-end
definitions, "client" suggests the originating user agent (app, or
browser, or service).

So UA and client do have distinct connotations.
Received on Thursday, 8 December 2011 22:28:33 UTC

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