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Re: Microsoft IE -- it just gets better and better

From: Mike Meyer <mwm@contessa.phone.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 12:22:18 PST
Message-Id: <19960127.7712370.B182@contessa.phone.net>
To: www-talk@w3.org
> At 12:41 am 1/27/96 PST, Mike Meyer spake:
> >>    User-Agent may not be the most technologically whiz-bang thing
> >> you can think of for content-negotiation, but it works.
> >If it works, then why did MS and others feel the need to use it (*)
> >the way they did. The fact is, it DOESN'T work. The group doing the
>    It works for what it's good for: I can have two versions of
> my Site: one for Netscape and one for Everyone Else.

I use a number of browsers that support tables. None of them are
NetScape. You don't send me the tables because they don't claim to be
NetScape. I claim your software is broken. You claim it's doing
exactly what it should. So I fix things so your software does what I
want it to. That's life.

> MS is trying
> to force me to have three--and I don't want to.

Tough. Don't bother - have a page that tells people what they should
set User-Agent to. Don't expect them to pay any attention to it.

>    When the content-negotiation features of HTTP/1.1 become
> more than a set of words in a draft, I'll gladly use them.

There have been content-negotiation features based on the Accept
header available in servers since before NetScape was a company. The
first implementation of the HTML 3 tables draft provided an Accept:
header that let such servers do the right thing without using
User-Agent. The technology to do this right existed and was in use
before NetScape started balkanizing the web by ignoring that
technology, and the efforts of the IETF working groups.

>    Their making a configurable option for the user to put in whatever
> string they want is a mockery of the system and of all the efforts
> of this volunteer group.

WHAT volunteer group? I know of NO group that is trying to standardize
the meanings for User-Agent. That's the only effort that this would
make a mockery of.

Since there is no such group - or effort - making it user-configurable
is the OBVIOUS next step. That means I can configure it to get the
best results from a site on a per site basis. The obvious step after
this one is a host name/IP address to user agent string mapping

>    The implication that their software is broken is short-sighted.
> If the facility was there to handle smaller granularity of variation
> in content, and the facility was there to specify it (which is
> what the content-negotiation folks are working on), then I would
> gladly support it.

The only reason it isn't there is because NetScape did everything they
could to make people have to use THEIR browser instead of someone
elses. If NetScape had followed the lead of the people writing
advanced browsers and taken advantage of the DEPLOYED
content-negotiation facilities when they introduced their browser,
none of this cruft would have happened.

>    But all I've got today is User-Agent and Accept. And "Accept" tells
> me nothing about what the client does with Tables, or Multi-Block
> GIFs, or Server-Push (multipart/x-mixed-replace), etc., etc., etc.

If NetScape doesn't send "Accept: multipart/x-mixed-replace" in their
headers, then their browser sucks even more than I suspected.  That
(and not providing a MIME type or version for NHTML) is NetScape's
fault, not MS's. NetScape created the mess to grow their market share.
MS is taking advantage of it to grow their market share. I have no
sympathy for anyone who helped NetScape who is getting screwed by MS -
they asked for it.

Received on Saturday, 27 January 1996 15:30:33 UTC

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