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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.

P
-- 
Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:48:15 UTC

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