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Re: User-Agent (Was: Re: Microsoft IE ...)

From: Russell Holt <holtrf@destinyusa.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 14:04:10 -0500
Message-Id: <v01530506ad32c5350a72@[]>
To: www-talk@w3.org
>BearHeart writes:
>: . . .
>:    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.
>: . . .
>About "User-Agent": What is the user-agent?  Is it the fetcher for
>http-protocol or is it the "text/html" viewer?

If it's used for content-negotiation, there's no question: it has to
be content consumer (the viewer)...

>Under the rules nobody is permitted to look beyond the DTD for
>the meaning of "table".

rotfl! "sub-standard" has a variety of interpretations...

>The SGML idea is that the DTD is written to make provision for mark-up
>in an abstract structural way rather than in a format-specific way.
>That makes provision for many, many possibilities that we tend to
>forget when we are using wonderful shrink-wrapped browsers.  (But even
>those of us who like these browsers, self-included, sometimes want to
>use other things.)  A very down-to-Earth example: I may like what the
>server, based on User-Agent, sends my browser for screen rendition.
>But if that shipment is insufficiently structural, it might look awful
>when I pipe it through "my-html-to-ps".  (If my browser is
>shrink-wrapped, you say, I could print from my browser; but, oh, by
>the way, I need to change my fontsize first.)

Acrobat is one answer. It seems obvious, however, that even though
we keep clamoring about how for feature X, the browser (or server)
is *supposed* to implement it according to some standards document,
but the reality is that they don't, and apparently, they don't always
care. There is enough chaos to justify non-standards, at least from some
perspectives. But people are solving real problems, and
sometimes the solution doesn't conform to "standards", maybe because the
problem didn't quite fit those for which the guidelines were
established. Oh well. If we built a system that really works well,
people would conform to that standard and improve upon it.

=(Russell Holt)====-===-==-=-=--=---=---- --- -- - -  -   -    -
holtrf@destinyusa.com            http://www.destinyusa.com/russ/
Destiny Software Corporation
Received on Monday, 29 January 1996 14:01:59 UTC

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