A pedant that hangs out in the dark corner-cases of the web.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Re: The Internet Explorer 8 User-Agent String

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)

Microsoft, why are you still lying about being Mozilla?

Seriously, it's just wasted network traffic and drive space and extra parsing for log analyzers.

I see many commentors, in the recent IEBlog post about the IE8 user agent string, requesting an end to the "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; " nonsense:

I see only two people defending the 1990s style user agent string:

This seems to indicate a pretty clear preference from the developer community.

There will be a few sites that incorrectly slam the door on their guests simply due to an unknown UA string, but they clearly need a wake-up call anyway. Whitelisting user agent strings is stupid, and needs to be stopped now.

P.S.: Thanks for making standards mode the default in IE8, Microsoft! I'm not kidding or being sarcastic. You've really improved the lives of developers in the long run, whether or not everyone understands it now.

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