[nSLUG] User agent spoofing

Oliver Doepner odoepner at gmail.com
Tue Jan 23 22:12:09 AST 2007


I guess we all agree that using OS / browser detection to deny users 
access to a website is a broken policy.

It's nice and dandy to work around that bullshit but I think it's also 
important to let the site creators know that it's an unnecessary 
inacceptable annoyance. The more people complain the bigger the chance 
that they stop implementing such nonsense.

It find it acceptable to show a message that the OS / browser is not 
explicitly supported and that you might not be able to take full 
advantage of the site.

I like what Gmail does: It falls back to a basic HTML version for 
browsers that do not fully support all the JavaScript, CSS and other 
fancy technologies that the Gmail site usually uses _and_ it lets the 
user know about this with the mild suggestion to use a more capable 

Interestingly, I noticed this behaviour of Gmail yesterday when I tried 
the "User Agent Switcher" extension in Firefox: I had set it to 
"Netscape 4.8 (Windows XP)" and had forgotten to switch back to default.


Ben Armstrong wrote:
> On Tue, 23 Jan 2007 11:30:07 -0400
> Ian Campbell <ian at slu.ms> wrote:
>> The other option (depending on your browser, of course) is to use a
>> greasemonkey script, or userjs if you're using Opera, to override
>> os.isWindows.
> This is looking more and more like the only option, particularly in light
> of my latest finding that the page insists on using a Windows Media Player
> plugin.  Ugh.
> I've never used greasemonkey ...  care to help out?

Oliver Doepner


More information about the nSLUG mailing list