From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Christopher B. Browne) Subject: Re: junkbuster and user agent Date: 21 Feb 1998 22:59:30 GMT On 21 Feb 1998 12:57:39 -0500, Stefan Waldherr <email@example.com> posted: >Hi, > >I'm about to package a new rpm for the internet junkbuster > > http://www.junkbuster.com/ > >In all earlier versions the default user agent, under which the proxy >identifies itself to web servers, was set to some Apple thingie. Well, I think >I ought to change that -- after all, we want to give Linux some momentum. Arguably that's the *wrong* answer. The reason why they defaulted to an Apple/Mozilla identification was that this would *not* draw attention to the proxy. They felt that the choice of "Apple" would be ignored by those that write web applications to look at the user agent and deny access to "offending" web browsers. (I'm thinking particularly of the Star Trek web site that refuses to admit anyone *not* using Internet Exploder...) In effect, the point of the exercise is to *NOT* be truthful about the user agent. >However, I'm not so sure, which string to use. Apparently some bozo decided to >include kernel and processor versions in Netscape's user agent. Hence web- >masters will have a ton of different agents in their log files: > > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.32 i586) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.31 i586) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.33 i586) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.30 i586) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.32 i686) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.33 i686) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.33 i486) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.32 i586; Nav) > (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586) > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.33 i586; Nav) > Lynx/2.7.1 libwww-FM/2.14 > (X11; I; Linux 2.0.27 i586) > >And of course no webmaster will make the effort to add up the numbers of all >varieties of Linux. > >Since the junkbuster is used by a great deal of people AND these machines >likely serve even more machines as their proxy, this string should be >carefully chosen. Suggestions or ideas? The question is which choice is *politically* most expedient. I could make an argument for reporting as being "Internet Exploder running on Windows NT 7.0" or some such thing. It's deliberately misleading, admittedly, but deception seems to be par for the course when looking at the use of this sort of information. -- Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. -- Henry Spencer <http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html> firstname.lastname@example.org - "What have you contributed to Linux today?..."