Re: Iceweasel and Firefox compatibility
As someone pointed out in the thread, Mozilla doesn't even allow its trunk and alpha versions of Firefox to use the Firefox brand, whether in application name, installation directory (for the Windows version) or user agent. Third party builds (even if they just add a compiler flag) of final releases aren't allowed to use the Firefox brand either.
I think we're just as not allowed to distribute versions of Firefox that use the Firefox user agent as we're not allowed to distribute versions that use the Firefox name and logo.
As also explained, user agent switcher fixes the issue trivially.
And you may want to add Google Wave to the list of webapps which complain about the Iceweasel user agent :)
On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 5:12 PM, John Goerzen <email@example.com>
The fact that Iceweasel does not behave like Firefox in some important
areas has been bothering me more and more of late. Iceweasel breaks
many, many web apps by virtue of not using the Firefox user-agent
string. It also breaks compatibility with some plugins.
I completely agree with why we have named it Iceweasel, but I disagree
with breaking API compatibility with Firefox.
On http://wiki.debian.org/Iceweasel, we claim that it will be basically
identical to Firefox. The linked announcement  also claims that.
Here are some sites/apps that break, at least in part, because of our
API claiming to be Iceweasel:
Zimbra admin console
BlackBoard (used by thousands of universities)
http://browserplus.yahoo.com/ (claims the browser isn't supported)
http://gears.google.com/ (claims browser isn't supported)
hundreds of banks
The conferencing app at dimdim.com
Kerio mail server
I know there may be technical arguments that "people shouldn't be using
user agent like that." But the reality is that they are, and we have a
serious usability problem because we change user agent. There's no
reason that we'd have to change user agent just because we change the
name it presents to us.
I have a colleague that refuses to run Debian's Iceweasel. I have
another that is working on groupware evaluation and is having trouble
because many of the web apps don't correctly recognize Iceweasel as
It would be *great* if this could be fixed before sarge comes out.
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