Re: distinguishing browser types

Alexei Kosut (
Sat, 22 Apr 1995 14:43:54 +0500

On Sat, 22 Apr 1995, Kee Hinckley wrote:

> Which leads me to another question. Are there any browsers out there that
> actually set the Accept fields based on the helper applications? I know
> Netscape doesn't. It makes it rather difficult to determine what formats
> can be sent to a browser.

Well, there's a two-sided edge to this question. Go back to some earlier
browsers, and you'll find that they Accept:ed everything under the sun,
because they had helpers that could handle it, or they could at least
save it to disk. I've found that more recent browsers just throw out an
"Accept: */*" for these cases, and only use a specific Accept browser for
what they can handle in-line.

This makes sense, really. If you're going to provide an image for an IMG
tag, you might like to know what image formats the browser can take for
this position. If the browser gives an "Accept: image/jpeg" because it
has a helper app that can view it, that can screw up what you're trying
to do, because you might assume that this means it can handle it in-line
as well.

Obviously there's a conflict here, but it seems that browser authors (at
least, the current versions of Netscape and NCSA Mosaic both seem to)
have decided for the in-line only option. This seems to make sense, not
to mention the fact that it saves net bandwidth for the request headers -
only four or five instead of seven zillion.

Note: I don't work for, nor am I affiliated with, any producer of any web
browser or server whatsoever. I'm just a lonely soul who's spent far too
much time examining the finer details of the software loaded onto his
computer and trying to figure out why things work the way they do.

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