W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2014

Navigator standard change proposal

From: Predrag Stojadinović <predrag@stojadinovic.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:05:44 +0100
Message-ID: <CAMf3si6m4tsDfAoVdDrh=prj3Vk8_FKas=1-sqc3Zh9VG5Ejpg@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
1. The current Navigator object standard allows for the appName attribute
to be either "Netscape" or the actual name and most major browsers just
settle for this default.
2. The appVersion attribute is even worse because the definition requires
that attribute to either be exactly "4.0", regardless of the actual browser
version, OR a detailed string, which is the option that is of course
chosen, and is thus cluttered with too much data.

While, on the one hand, this additional data can be useful to some
developers, the cluttering, on the other, makes it a nightmare to determine
the actual browser and version which the code is being executed in.
Especially when that data changes from one version to another like we
recently had in the IE10 to IE11 upgrade where IE11 all of a sudden was
being detected as a special version of Firefox.

Based on the Navigator
which states: "*This
section defines a collection of attributes that can be used to determine,
from script, the kind of user agent in use, in order to work around these
issues.*" it is rather surprising that the two, usually most interesting
and sought after, pieces of information must be parsed and extracted from
too much cluttered text, instead of being readily available on demand.

Just to be clear, it is certainly better to use Modernizr and similar
libraries to determine available features, however, it is up to the
developer how they use the information obtained from the navigator object
and if they create bad patterns based on the browser name and version than
this really is on them. What developers do with this information is
ultimately up to them, but if this is what they are actually after then it
should be available.

Therefore, since the appName and appVersion have been around for a while
and are what they are, instead of changing them, I propose to introduce
attributes browserName and browserVersion as following:

readonly attribute DOMString browserName;
readonly attribute DOMString browserVersion;

window . navigator . browserName
    Must return the full name of the browser, e.g. "Chrome", "Firefox",
"Opera", "Internet Explorer", "Safari", etc.

window . navigator . browserVersion
    Must return the full version of the browser, e.g. "32.0.1700.107",
"27.0", "11.0.9600.16476", "12.11", etc.


*Predrag Stojadinović*
NVIDIA Europe, *Software Developer*

Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:13:20 UTC

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