Re: Content negotiation

Eric W. Sink (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 16:34:57 -6

> Why would you want it to be as cool as possible under one browser when you
> can make it as cool as possible under all browsers?

Because it's a lot of work for you. However, if you're happy...

> Are you saying you _don't_ want me to make our
> sites look as good as possible to Spyglass users?

Certainly not. I'm just curious about why you care enough to make
your content look cool under lots of browsers, when most people don't
give a hoot.

> The current alternative is no content-negotiation at all. I've updated our
> database with the 2.1 Spyglass extensions, but I confess to be confused by
> your User-Agent field.
> Spyglass_Mosaic/2.10 Win32 Open Text/1
> PATHWORKS Mosaic/1.0 libwww/2.15_Spyglass
> Mosaic/1.0 libwww/2.15_Spyglass
> Enhanced_Mosaic/2.00 Win32 FTP Software/Spyglass/3

Spyglass is an OEM company. We don't produce *a* browser. We produce
browser technology which our partner companies use to produce
browsers. In some cases, we don't have control over what they use as
a User-Agent field. Also, it is true that over time our User-Agent
string format has changed a bit. The third example above is *really*
old! :-) Anyway, we have 46 licensees. Coming up with a user-agent
format to uniquely identify all those builds is by nature going to
result in something that looks complicated.

FYI, Currently, User-Agent strings for all builds done by Spyglass
follow this convention:



BASELINEVERSION is something like "2.10", which is the current

PLATFORM identifies the platform for which the build is made, like

VENDOR is the name of the vendor for which the build was done. It
*should* be a single token.

BUILDNUMBER is exactly that, a build number.

Also FYI: Versions of Spyglass Mosaic >= 2.1 support tables,
background images, and floating images, among other features.

If you
really are customizing your content by browser down to the level of
detail of <P ALIGN=CENTER> vs. <CENTER> then I surmise you really are
dedicated to what you're doing, and there's no point in talking you
out of it.

> You've got a few too many version numbers floating around. Which indicates
> the level of HTML supported?

None of them, because they're not supposed to do so! That's the
whole point.

> As a content
> developer, the most I hope for is that companies like Spyglass try and make
> the task easier, not harder.

Great! We'd be delighted to help. How can we help make real content
negotiation a viable option for you?

Eric W. Sink