The google chrome team published a webbook entitled “20 things I learned about browsers & the web”. It’s nice and pretty with beautiful drawings and interesting content. However, there was a distasteful yellow header on the page while I was viewing the page in my current browser of choice: luakit telling me that I needed a modern browser to see the book and all its features:
Well, luakit may not support everything I guessed. Let us use firefox (well technically, iceweasel but it’s just firefox with another name, it should be recognized as firefox by any intelligent website). Same verdict:
OK, I followed the link at the top telling me what modern browsers meant. It listed firefox but also opera. I like opera. And I have the latest alpha of it. Just let me launch it and… nothing better:
So I guess they do user-agent sniffing and they are bad at it. Let us try luakit with chrome’s user-agent string. Hey it works! And there is a new feature: some kind of red bookmark that shows sharing possibility when I hover it…
Conclusion: still the same: sniffing user-agent is bad: it prevents my browser from doing what it can do and you pretend it cannot. Please don’t do it (and if you are Apple or Google, be fair to your competitors).