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Re: Iceweasel and Firefox compatibility

On Mon, Nov 09, 2009 at 07:48:49PM -0600, Raphael Geissert wrote:
> John Goerzen wrote:
> [...]
> > It would be *great* if this could be fixed before sarge comes out.

> Like Mike already said, those sites or applications also break with many
> other browsers. The, often limited, knowledge of the browsers by the
> developer shouldn't be a reason to limit the usage of those sites or
> applications.

> As a person who has developed web apps and has had to deal with this my
> opinion is to follow the specs and implement remedies in a best-effort
> manner for those browsers that don't follow or support the specs. Any
> UA-based decision to say some browser is supported is silly and is meant to
> fail.

Yes, web apps that look at the UA string to decide whether to play nice are
broken.  In what possible way does this imply that we should engage in a
policy of brinksmanship with these web developers, making all of our users
pawns in a battle to force web developers to write cleaner code?

> Is it hard?, sure. Takes time?, yup. Should we give up?, I say no.

You're free to fight for this if you like, but this is very much a "make the
mountain come to Mohammed" situation - the number of code monkeys writing
bad web apps is enormous, and all of Debian's users together are unlikely to
make a dent in this problem, even if they all felt it was an important
issue.  This doesn't put our users *or* Free Software first; instead you're
prioritizing an ideological dispute the outcome of which will have no
discernable benefit for Free Software, versus simply changing our browsers'
code centrally to spit out the string that appeases the web app writers.

> I think it is time for the project to recognise this kind of freedom issues
> and stand still and fight against those that keep limiting our freedom.

I think this is nonsense.  Whatever you think of web app writers who key on
the UA string, there is no freedom issue here - if you don't like how the
web app handles differences in the string, stop sending a different string.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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