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Re: Navigator standard change proposal

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:47:52 +0000
Message-ID: <52FAA898.3040208@splintered.co.uk>
To: public-html@w3.org
On 11/02/2014 17:05, Predrag Stojadinović wrote:
> 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.

And the reason for this is: historically, those two properties have been 
so badly misused for browser-sniffing purposes, that browsers don't dare 
change them for fear of legacy sites (and more importantly, 
intranet-based legacy systems in businesses) locking their users out.

Same reason why the userAgent property is also an ever-growing pack of 
lies (or rather, a balancing act of adding enough legacy keywords that 
won't immediately have old UA-sniffing code falling over, while still 
trying to convey a little bit of actually useful and accurate information).

If anything, I'd propose that those properties be explicitly marked as 
deprecated from the spec itself, with a note that user agents may still 
expose them, with whatever string they deem necessary, due to the 
reliance of legacy scripts in the wild on these.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]

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Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:48:15 UTC

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