Re: Content negotiation

Daniel LaLiberte (
Tue, 7 Nov 95 22:25:17 CST

I think this is a great idea Larry.

From: Larry Masinter <>

There's a list of browsers/browser strings. RA registers the browsers,
and, for each browser string, the list of features supported.


returns a text/plain list of the features supported for <browser>.

But the URL for the browser description could be any URL whatsoever,
different for each browser. The descriptions would be generally
distributed around the network, supported by the suppliers of the
browsers. Better, for reliability and scalability, would be a URN and
replication of the possible URLs to look up the description.

But to further distribute browser descriptions, servers could ask
browsers to provide the info if the server doesn't have it cached
already. But a signature would have to be attached to such info
offered by browsers since otherwise a malicious user would be able to
spoof servers into using the wrong info.

Web servers might have to contact RA if they come across a browser
they've never seen before to find out what features it supports, but
the server could cache that information.

Most servers will eventually get hit by most kinds of browsers. Have
you ever had a look at the agent-log in NCSA's httpd? Still, the total
database is pretty small.