Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Mar 2018 00:17 UTC
Internet & Networking

In the beginning there was NCSA Mosaic, and Mosaic called itself NCSA_Mosaic/2.0 (Windows 3.1), and Mosaic displayed pictures along with text, and there was much rejoicing.

I've always wondered why every user agent string starts with Mozilla, and now I know. Fun read, too.

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Old article
by nicubunu on Tue 6th Mar 2018 08:15 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

So nothing new happened about UA strings in the last 10 years since the article was posted?

I cringed the most at "followers of Linux were much sorrowed, because they had built Konqueror[...] called itself Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Konqueror/3.2; FreeBSD)"

Reply Score: 3

RE: Old article
by Raf.be on Tue 6th Mar 2018 14:45 in reply to "Old article"
Raf.be Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, the article is almost 10 years old. And to be honest, things only got worse ...

For instance, this is the user agent string of Safari on iPhone (see below).

So we have an iPhone, who pretends to be like Mac OS X, who pretends to be like Safari, who pretends to be like KHTML, who pretends to be like Gecko, who pretends to be like Mozilla ... :-)

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 11_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/604.1.38 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.0 Mobile/15A372 Safari/604.1

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Old article
by ahferroin7 on Wed 7th Mar 2018 13:36 in reply to "RE: Old article"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

TBH though, it's really only graphical web browsers that are that bad consistently. For example, the Android HttpURLConnection class (used by Android apps who just want to fetch data from web servers) has a default UA string that looks like:

Dalvik/1.4.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.6; GT-S5570 Build/GINGERBREAD)

It tells you it's Dalvik and what version, ID's the OS, and tells you the model of the device and the build of Android.

Going even beyond that, most other things that aren't specifically web browsers just ID themself and their version (for example, 'Wget/1.19.4'), and a lot of text-mode browsers behave like that too.

Reply Parent Score: 5