Re: distinguishing browser types

Kee Hinckley (
Sun, 23 Apr 1995 02:38:46 +0500

At 9:40 PM 4/22/95, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
>different versions of the NBC Nightly News to compensate". Broken
>browsers are broken browsers, whether they're in beta or not, and the
>only way to convince broken browser authors to fix them is to not cater
>to the bugs in their code.

You and I understand that - but they VP at the bank that's paying for the
site is less likely to - and he's paying the bills. Also, practically I
believe that there always will be browsers with custom features - it's a
competitive advantage to do so. Expecting them to all standardize is rather
like expecting Unix vendors to unify - back in my Motif days I used to
think that would happen too -- no longer.

>Yes, content negotiation works in an environment where browsers don't lie
>about their capabilities, or if they do their users can live with the

It's not an issue of lying, Netscape doesn't claim to support 3.0, for
instance, it just claims to support some varition of some features in 3.0.
Since HTTP doesn't give them a way of saying *which* features, the job ends
up in my court.

>set a conditional that "All versions of NCSA Mosaic for Windows don't
>support tables in forms", how long does it take for your table can be
>updated when a new one does? Believe me, I sympathise and admire the

That's a problem I'm working on right now. We're in the process of setting
up a browser-feature tracking service for designers. I hope to send out
mail about it in a week or so. Yes, keeping the tables up-to-date is a
problem, but so long as a browser doesn't *remove* a feature, it isn't
super critical if there is some lag.

>Guys, this is *all*in*the*current*specs*. All these proposals are
>designed to give the users more power in expressing their preferences and
>abilities. Content providers are dying to be able to meet their needs.

That's for sure. Just figuring out which audio format to send to a given
browser/platform has been a royal pain, never mind the quality issue.

Kee Hinckley Utopia Inc. - Cyberspace Architects=81 617/721-6100

I'm not sure which upsets me more: that people are so unwilling to accept
responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate
everyone else's.