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Re: Lynx and log files

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 14:09:08 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, "Robert Neff" <robneff@home.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, subir@crl.com

What do the brower sniffer segregators typically do if they encounter a
browser they don't recognize, e.g. 

Supreme-Ultimate/#.#.# libwww--XX/#.#

If the sniffer defaults to thinking "This must be a whiz bang state of the
art browser I'll send it everything I've got" then the lynx users would
avoid the text-reservation, without violating copyright.

("Supreme Ultimate" is the English translation of "T'ai Chi", which was
created during the Sung Dynasty, before copyright protection was available)


At 10:46 PM 7/23/99 -0400, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>Rob Neff asked:
>>Does lynx show up as lynx in the log files?  Can i do a browser detect for
>aloha, rob!
>the user agent declaration is:
>	Lynx/#.#.# libwww--XX/#.#
>where #.#.# (or #.#) is the release number, and the XX/#.# is the libwww
>release number... for most versions of lynx that you are likely to come
>across (or, at least i hope so, for lynx users' sakes) is "FM/#.#FM"
>(without the quotes, naturally)
>you can find out more than you ever wanted to know about lynx by going to
>the Lynx Home Page:
>	<http://lynx.browser.org/>
>or, since they'll point you there anyway, go straight to Subir Grewal's
>"Extremely Lynx" pages, located at:
>	<http://www.crl.com/~subir/lynx.html>
>you should be aware, however, that a significant minority of Lynx users
>"camouflage"  their UA declaration by changing the User-Agent header value
>from that outlined above (i.e. Lynx/2.8.2rel.1 libwww-FM2.14 FM, to a
>Mozilla header, so as to penetrate sites that would otherwise shut them
>out, by mis-using browser sniffing to point them to a page that advises
>them to quote join the twentieth century before it ends unquote and
>download a quote modern frames-capable browser unquote (actual verbiage
>from a site that shunted me to a page insulting entitled "No Go MoFo")
>although this particular mis-use of browser sniffing is one of the most
>pernicious (not to mention common) bars to equal access to information
>(call it "browser segregation" if you like), User-Agent spoofing is a
>practice which is definitely not encouraged by the Lynx Developmental
>Consortium--the online documentation states, and i quote:
>NOTE that Netscape Communications Corp. has claimed that false
>transmissions of "Mozilla" as the User-Agent are a copyright infringement,
>which will be prosecuted. _DO NOT_ misrepresent Lynx as Mozilla.  The
>Options Menu issues a warning about possible copyright infringement
>whenever the header is changed to one which does not include "Lynx or lynx.
>-- end quote
>He that lives on Hope, dies farting
>     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
>Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
>   President, WebMaster, & Minister of Propaganda, 
>        VICUG NYC <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Saturday, 24 July 1999 14:06:30 UTC

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