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a letter to hotmail
Posted by: disrupted
Date: January 14, 2009 06:15AM





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2010 04:27PM by disrupted.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: xGrind
Date: January 14, 2009 06:24AM

Change your User Agent to Firefox 2.0
Tools -> User Agent -> Firefox 2.0

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: desga2
Date: January 14, 2009 10:23AM
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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: gdv
Date: January 17, 2009 03:47PM

I've had a couple questions about this rumbling around in my head and this seems like a good place to ask them.

(1) Is this an issue on the Hotmail end or the KM end (or maybe some of both)? I don't understand why KM works on Hotmail when spoofed as FF User Agent but doesn't work with the default KM User Agent.

I'm guessing I don't have an accurate understanding of what changing the User Agent does, but I've thought of it as the browser simply saying, "I'm Firefox" instead of saying, "I'm K-Meleon." But what happens with Hotmail doesn't seem as simple as just how the browser identifies itself. Apparently there are actual functional differences as well. (???)

When I go to Hotmail with the KM User Agent, I get the initial message that some functionality may not work right if I proceed with KM. But when I proceed, most things seem to work OK.

But one thing that doesn't is editing an email that I had drafted and saved earlier. When I try to edit the draft, I can change the intended recipient or the Subject, but I can't get a cursor in the text space (i.e., that space in th UI seems unresponsive). But if I switch the User Agent to FF (without even logging off Hotmail), I'm good to go.

What actually changes at that point to yield a functional difference? What is KM as KM not doing functionally that KM as FF does do?

(2) Seems like I recall this was an issue in the recent discussion re GMail as well (http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/forum/read.php?1,82512,87508), and I assume there must be other sites that are problematic. So do those of you using KM as FF for Hotmail or GMail (or any other sites) simply leave it that way all the time? If so, what problems (if any) does that cause? (In other words, what are the disadvantages of just leaving the KM User Agent as FF all the time?)

Thanks!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2009 04:58PM by gdv.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 17, 2009 06:36PM

Quote
gdv
(1) Is this an issue on the Hotmail end or the KM end (or maybe some of both)? I don't understand why KM works on Hotmail when spoofed as FF User Agent but doesn't work with the default KM User Agent.

What actually changes at that point to yield a functional difference? What is KM as KM not doing functionally that KM as FF does do?

(2) Seems like I recall this was an issue in the recent discussion re GMail as well (http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/forum/read.php?1,82512,87508), and I assume there must be other sites that are problematic. So do those of you using KM as FF for Hotmail or GMail (or any other sites) simply leave it that way all the time? If so, what problems (if any) does that cause? (In other words, what are the disadvantages of just leaving the KM User Agent as FF all the time?)

Thanks!

1. a.) HotMail causes the problem. It is one of many sites with this problem
Since the baring is not part of the HTML specifications the problem is their bug.

1. b.) No different functionality. Further info at: Gecko is Gecko. Users of several browsers are effected by this ignorance. The functionality of script and layout engine are identical.

2. a.) These sites cause a FAQ for the support forums of the effected browsers, they cause inconvenience to the effected visitors... They steal our time.
They do not pay us while we do support for their bugs.

2. b.) To spoof always another User Agent String reduces the nominal %age in usage statistics. Nobody would find out even if K-Meleon had the needed market share. This would cause the nuisance to continue forever.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: kko
Date: January 17, 2009 07:56PM

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gdv
I've had a couple questions about this rumbling around in my head and this seems like a good place to ask them.

(1) Is this an issue on the Hotmail end or the KM end (or maybe some of both)? I don't understand why KM works on Hotmail when spoofed as FF User Agent but doesn't work with the default KM User Agent.

This is a web design flaw that you can find in many (especially "big") websites, it's not a browser bug.

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gdv
I'm guessing I don't have an accurate understanding of what changing the User Agent does, but I've thought of it as the browser simply saying, "I'm Firefox" instead of saying, "I'm K-Meleon."

This is absolutely correct. Changing the browser's user agent string does not change the way the browser is working internally.

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gdv
But what happens with Hotmail doesn't seem as simple as just how the browser identifies itself.

It is as simple as that.

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gdv
Apparently there are actual functional differences as well. (???)

When I go to Hotmail with the KM User Agent, I get the initial message that some functionality may not work right if I proceed with KM. But when I proceed, most things seem to work OK.

But one thing that doesn't is editing an email that I had drafted and saved earlier. When I try to edit the draft, I can change the intended recipient or the Subject, but I can't get a cursor in the text space (i.e., that space in th UI seems unresponsive). But if I switch the User Agent to FF (without even logging off Hotmail), I'm good to go.

What actually changes at that point to yield a functional difference? What is KM as KM not doing functionally that KM as FF does do?

The functional difference is in the website, not in the browser. This is called a user agent switch - if the browser identifies itself as one being on the website's list, the website provides the browser with full functionality, otherwise with limited functionality ("safe mode"). I guess you can imagine that such a list can never be complete. In most cases there are only two items on the list: IE and Firefox, the browsers with the biggest market share. All others are just ignored. You may read a bit more on this topic at my website.

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gdv
(2) Seems like I recall this was an issue in the recent discussion re GMail as well (http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/forum/read.php?1,82512,87508), and I assume there must be other sites that are problematic.

This is indeed a never ending story. Many other sites are using such outdated programming techniques. This is why practically all alternative browsers provide their users with a possibility to change the default user agent string.

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gdv
So do those of you using KM as FF for Hotmail or GMail (or any other sites) simply leave it that way all the time? If so, what problems (if any) does that cause? (In other words, what are the disadvantages of just leaving the KM User Agent as FF all the time?)

Of course you can make KM identify itself as FF permanently. This is the convenient way and won't cause any problems to you. But, on the other hand, this will never change the situation. I fully agree with guenter here. These ignorant web designers will never change their idiotic habbits until alternative browsers will have a noticable market share. Just that this will never happen as long as the users of alternative browsers are forced to spoof the market leaders. That's where the dog is biting into its tail...

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: disrupted
Date: January 17, 2009 11:41PM

some sites are just plain stupid with their identifiers but they don't necessarily have bad intentions.

for example: yahoo mail; they tell you your browser is not supported, that's an indication of a bad sniffer.. however all your mail features will work normally without altering your user-agent.. so they are stupid but they are not forcing you to use a specific browser(s) to access their email; albeit yahoo has this dumb cookie thing with advertisers issue when previewing image attachments.. so they are still evil.

what happens with hotmail is outrageous. they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out.. all you can do is read email. lots of regular users do not realise they can still use their not-so-popular-browsers by changing the user-agent. they like their browsers but discover that they are getting out-casted by many sites. what do they do? they eventually dump the programs that they prefer and opt for the ones always listed on those "popular" sites. more savvy users will spoof their agent permanently to end this headache.. which just like gunter and kko have stressed out- will simply give a pretence to them: the whole world just uses those 3 or 4 browsers.. what's the big deal then?

the only solution i see for this is a complaint letter. if they get enough; they'll understand that people are no fools and that that game is over. they asked for feedback..so there it is.

every site that adopts the same policy like hotmail's should be contacted with a hate-mail. another example is facebook..

the other idiots like yahoo should get more polite complaints.

don't just spoof your agent.. let them know how smart you are and how stupid they are.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Date: January 18, 2009 06:30AM

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disrupted
some sites are just plain stupid with their identifiers but they don't necessarily have bad intentions.

for example: yahoo mail; they tell you your browser is not supported, that's an indication of a bad sniffer.. however all your mail features will work normally without altering your user-agent.. so they are stupid but they are not forcing you to use a specific browser(s) to access their email; albeit yahoo has this dumb cookie thing with advertisers issue when previewing image attachments.. so they are still evil.

what happens with hotmail is outrageous. they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out.. all you can do is read email. lots of regular users do not realise they can still use their not-so-popular-browsers by changing the user-agent. they like their browsers but discover that they are getting out-casted by many sites. what do they do? they eventually dump the programs that they prefer and opt for the ones always listed on those "popular" sites. more savvy users will spoof their agent permanently to end this headache.. which just like gunter and kko have stressed out- will simply give a pretence to them: the whole world just uses those 3 or 4 browsers.. what's the big deal then?

the only solution i see for this is a complaint letter. if they get enough; they'll understand that people are no fools and that that game is over. they asked for feedback..so there it is.

every site that adopts the same policy like hotmail's should be contacted with a hate-mail. another example is facebook..

the other idiots like yahoo should get more polite complaints.

don't just spoof your agent.. let them know how smart you are and how stupid they are.


THIS WAS A DAMN GOOD EXPLANATION...Except for the fact that they won't give a shit about our complaint letters ....The whole thing needs to be done in massmedia publicly..on tv,radio,news papers at the maximum audience hour both in europe and united states..And the explanations to be made so easy to understend that even a caveman would get it..This campaign should go on and on until the big companies either gives up or sue the crap out ove evryone trying to prouve thei are right...But by that time everyone would have allready find out how the thing are going...
It is all about money here you know...??

EDIT:

I am going to do all i can to spread the truth about..Hope you do not mind...I posted your reply along with a link to this site in our graphixanstuff forum.
Recently we had guys complaining about the same problem so i tought it might help them..
Thank you




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2009 07:00AM by Gorilla no baka.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 18, 2009 07:24AM

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disrupted
they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out..

Try to change "general.useragent.vendor" - only Geckos & khtml can do that info.

Try empty or outright delete pref. - Firefox does not have it.
It is the only give away I know.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: gdv
Date: January 18, 2009 10:57AM

guenter, KKO, and disrupted:

Thank you SO VERY MUCH grinning smiley for your detailed and thoughtful responses. I just spent a little over 2 hours going through them and checking out the links you provided, and I certainly feel like I have a better grasp of the issues now. Your answers should be flagged or archived somehow for easy access (maybe a forum sticky and/or a KM wiki entry), because I know this is a huge and common issue that will (and probably has) come up over and over. And I, for one, have no objections to this thread being posted/linked elsewhere as Gorilla no baka has done!

A few follow-up questions:

(1) Just to be 100% clear, if I change the User Agent in KM (or Opera, for that matter), only the website functionality changes and K-Meleon/Opera functionality doesn't/shouldn't change at all. Correct?

(2) I was surprised Hotmail would respond immediately to my changing the User Agent. I thought I would probably at least have to log off and login again.

But I guess that idea was based more on the idea that the initial "handshaking" between browser and Hotmail was where the screening of the User Agent occurred (maybe because that has been the only time I get the cautionary message from Hotmail or other sites about the browser not being supported or having reduced functionality).

Now, instead, my impression is that User Agent sniffing must be a more constant/ongoing, dynamic process and that websites can accommodate to User Agent changes (kko's "user agent switch") on the fly. Does that sound correct?

(3) If #2 is correct, then as far as any of you know, will most/all websites make this adjustment on the fly as Hotmail does, or does that depend on how they are programmed? (I'm guessing the latter.)

(4) kko referred to the limited functionality websites assign browsers that are not on their "approved" list as "safe mode" functionality. Is safety/security supposedly the general issue/concern that User Agent sniffing by websites is intended to address? [I say "supposedly" because there could be other reasons/motivations/purposes such as ignorant and/or outdated programming technique or an intentional effort to influence users' browser choice (e.g., perhaps for financial gain, M$???)]

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guenter
Since the baring is not part of the HTML specifications the problem is their bug.
(5)I'm guessing "baring" is a typo, but I can't figure out what it's supposed to say. ???

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guenter
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disrupted
they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out..

Try to change "general.useragent.vendor" - only Geckos & khtml can do that info.

Try empty or outright delete pref. - Firefox does not have it.
It is the only give away I know.
(6)Since I'm pretty new to both KM and this UA issue, I don't understand what you're getting at here, guenter (although I imagine disrupted does) -- Would you please clarify?

Finally, I'm definitely on board with all of you in wanting to see this issue addressed in a bigger way. While I intend to "complain" on the Live Hotmail forum, I'm afraid Gorilla no baka is correct in his/her estimation of the impact of such complaints. It would nice if there were some grassroots way to mount a large campaign that would have more influence. Hmmm.... have to cogitate on that for a while.

And while the short-term disadvantage of a permanent User Agent change to me or any other user is negligible or nonexistent, that clearly contributes to the perpetuation of the problem. This issue comes up with Opera usage as well, and Opera at least provides the option to customize settings for any particular domain/website. If users take advantage of this functionality, it allows Opera to work better with a variety of sites, but also allows Opera usage statistics to be less influenced by the sites that don't "play nice" with Opera (because the user only has to make the User Agent change for that website/domain, not for all sites visited by Opera).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, this kind of customization-per-website/domain functionality doesn't (yet) exist in K-Meleon. (I already raised the question in some other thread but can't remember where). Seems like something that would be worth including in future development plans. (...but I still haven't gotten around to suggesting my other idea of a tree-based viewer for saved Sessions. ...Oh, well, can't do everything!)

Thanks all! smiling smiley

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 18, 2009 06:47PM

(1) Correct!

(2) AFAIK "some websites can accommodate to User Agent changes (kko's "user agent switch") on the fly" is true. My assumption, the function is located in the frame (container that holds the subpage/s ).

(3) I'm guessing the later too.

(4) "Get a better browser, loser" seems to be a common problem.
A good solution would be using kko's sniffer script combined with a browser switch.

But they hired ignorant devs. Now they want to avoid development cost of maintaining a list.

But are they all saving money that way?

Quote

Try a Google search for "Unsupported Browser" some time, and see how many sites that were rude to the Googlebot got indexed under their "Get a better browser, loser" brushoff page rather than their real content.

Source Dan's Web Tips: "Brand-X" Browsers -- User Agent Strings

All these pages deserved what they got - no real listing in google search.tongue sticking out smiley

(5) "baring" is a typo? - I do not speak English.
I mean a verb that uses bar, barrier ( and ing for doing consistently)
Creating a bar or barrier or border to keep them out. Maybe "exclude/excluding"?

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guenter
Quote
disrupted
they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out..

Try to change "general.useragent.vendor" - only Geckos & khtml can do that info.

Some new browser scripts used in switches can sniff a spoofing K-Meleon.
My guess was that the value of general.useragent.vendor is K-Meleon's give-away.
The value can be changed via about:config.


"Hmmm.... have to cogitate on that for a while." Blog it and make it public whenever we can. The hatemails are just deleted as spam.

I use the Privacy Bar - it lets me change the User Agent String with one left one right click. Apart from that I most often use Yahoo old mail - which responds faster anyway. And that lets their statistics know they have a user with a browser that they do not support.

K-Meleon project does not have the manpower of Opera.
AFAIK a customization-per-website/domain functionality doesn't exist in K-Meleon. The idea of a tree-based viewer for saved Sessions also needs someone that does it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2009 08:01PM by guenter.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: gdv
Date: January 19, 2009 01:27PM

Thanks for your reply, guenter!

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guenter
(4) "Get a better browser, loser"

That's cute; I like that! grinning smiley [+ insert winking smiley ;) that I still can't find] Now, let's shorten it to an acronym: GABBL!

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guenter
(5) "baring" is a typo? - I do not speak English.
I mean a verb that uses bar, barrier ( and ing for doing consistently)
Creating a bar or barrier or border to keep them out. Maybe "exclude/excluding"?

Ahhh...! Now I get it! (Like so many things, it's obvious once you see it!) smiling smiley

Yeah, English has all kinds of special rules and exceptions. If there were a verb "to bare" in English, then "baring" would be the gerund, or present participle form (ending in -ing), but you meant the verb "to bar" as in "to block/prevent/exclude" and in English you often have to double a consonant at the end of a word before adding "ing" --- so in this case, it would be spelled "barring." smiling smiley

But I wouldn't say you don't speak English. In fact, with your spelling, grammar, and syntax, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was your native language!!! (...which is what, BTW, if you don't mind my asking?)

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guenter
Quote
guenter
Quote
disrupted
they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out..

Try to change "general.useragent.vendor" - only Geckos & khtml can do that info.

[gdv edit: following italics added back into quote from above by gdv]
Try empty or outright delete pref. - Firefox does not have it.
It is the only give away I know.

Some new browser scripts used in switches can sniff a spoofing K-Meleon.
My guess was that the value of general.useragent.vendor is K-Meleon's give-away.
The value can be changed via about:config.

Maybe this is over my head (or maybe our language difference is tripping me up somehow), but I'm still not clear what your point is.

By "give away," do you mean something like a "tell" in poker that "reveals" the true browser, or do you mean a "concession" of some sort by KM, or do you mean something that would cause cumulative browser statistics to better reflect actual KM usage, or...???

Are you pointing out a difference between KM and other browsers, or suggesting a setting to change via about:config that improves functioning on problem websites, or...?

Again, thanks for your help!

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Date: January 19, 2009 05:44PM

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gdv
Thanks for your reply, guenter!

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guenter
(4) "Get a better browser, loser"

That's cute; I like that! grinning smiley [+ insert winking smiley ;) that I still can't find] Now, let's shorten it to an acronym: GABBL!

Quote
guenter
(5) "baring" is a typo? - I do not speak English.
I mean a verb that uses bar, barrier ( and ing for doing consistently)
Creating a bar or barrier or border to keep them out. Maybe "exclude/excluding"?

Ahhh...! Now I get it! (Like so many things, it's obvious once you see it!) smiling smiley

Yeah, English has all kinds of special rules and exceptions. If there were a verb "to bare" in English, then "baring" would be the gerund, or present participle form (ending in -ing), but you meant the verb "to bar" as in "to block/prevent/exclude" and in English you often have to double a consonant at the end of a word before adding "ing" --- so in this case, it would be spelled "barring." smiling smiley

But I wouldn't say you don't speak English. In fact, with your spelling, grammar, and syntax, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was your native language!!! (...which is what, BTW, if you don't mind my asking?)

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guenter
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guenter
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disrupted
they have deliberately coded their site so that if you're not using/spoofing the browsers they've specified; they cripple you out..

Try to change "general.useragent.vendor" - only Geckos & khtml can do that info.

[gdv edit: following italics added back into quote from above by gdv]
Try empty or outright delete pref. - Firefox does not have it.
It is the only give away I know.

Some new browser scripts used in switches can sniff a spoofing K-Meleon.
My guess was that the value of general.useragent.vendor is K-Meleon's give-away.
The value can be changed via about:config.

Maybe this is over my head (or maybe our language difference is tripping me up somehow), but I'm still not clear what your point is.

By "give away," do you mean something like a "tell" in poker that "reveals" the true browser, or do you mean a "concession" of some sort by KM, or do you mean something that would cause cumulative browser statistics to better reflect actual KM usage, or...???

Are you pointing out a difference between KM and other browsers, or suggesting a setting to change via about:config that improves functioning on problem websites, or...?

Again, thanks for your help!

I guess he means the last one..." setting to change via about:config that improves functioning on problem websites"

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 19, 2009 07:21PM

Thx for the info about the language problem. I will try to remember.

In the old Forum we all saw each other's IPs, now only the moderators see it.
So we could guess each others nation or better current location. It sometimes made understanding easier. My IP ends with net-htp.de.
Means: Ze guenter is German. Zat is why he does not speak English and does not know English spelling. & Ze spell checker vill not show him barring grinning smiley

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gdv

By "give away," do you mean something like a "tell" in poker that "reveals" the true browser, or do you mean a "concession" of some sort by KM,

or do you mean something that would cause cumulative browser statistics to better reflect actual KM usage, or...???

Are you pointing out a difference between KM and other browsers, or suggesting a setting to change via about:config that improves functioning on problem websites, or...?

1.) IMHO K-Meleon's answer to "navigator.vendor" informs the more modern sniffer scripts about K-Meleon's real identity. Consequence: they know and can exclude K-Meleon, if they want. I used "give away" like betray. I do not gamble but it could be a poker "tell".

2.) Would not mind to get K-Meleon into the browser statistics drool smiley

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Gorilla no baka
setting to change via about:config that improves functioning on problem websites"[/i]

3.) Absolut! If You encounter a site that recognizes that You spoof another ID - You can try to change or delete all prefs that contain the string "vendor". An official Firefox does not have a pref that contains the string "vendor".

The change can be done via the URL about:config which guides You to a panel inside the browser and shows and lets You edit all prefs. That panel can be also reached via menu: Edit > Configuration > Browser Configuration. I find going to the URL more convenient than clicking through the menus.

p.s. About: starts several URLs inside the browser. For a list go to the URL about:about. Not all function - some require a parameter - and some were redundant and were destroyed when the chrome was adapted to K-Meleon.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2009 07:27PM by guenter.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: caktus
Date: January 19, 2009 09:48PM

Since just latelygrinning smiley for about the past ten years site developers continue to hold this gnorance so dear to their hearts, would it be possible or ptacticle to create code to make KM sniff out which browser is accepted and automatically set the necessary user agent for that site?

Charlie

~~If it ain't broke, why screw it up?~~


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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: kko
Date: January 20, 2009 03:29AM

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gdv
(1) Just to be 100% clear, if I change the User Agent in KM (or Opera, for that matter), only the website functionality changes and K-Meleon/Opera functionality doesn't/shouldn't change at all. Correct?

Yes, as I've said: Changing the browser's user agent string does not change the way the browser is working internally.
Just by pretending to be Elvis, you won't become a better singer. grinning smiley

Quote
gdv
(2) I was surprised Hotmail would respond immediately to my changing the User Agent. I thought I would probably at least have to log off and login again.

But I guess that idea was based more on the idea that the initial "handshaking" between browser and Hotmail was where the screening of the User Agent occurred (maybe because that has been the only time I get the cautionary message from Hotmail or other sites about the browser not being supported or having reduced functionality).

Now, instead, my impression is that User Agent sniffing must be a more constant/ongoing, dynamic process and that websites can accommodate to User Agent changes (kko's "user agent switch") on the fly. Does that sound correct?

Errm, well, without going to much into technical detail: Principally yes, something like that.

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gdv
(3) If #2 is correct, then as far as any of you know, will most/all websites make this adjustment on the fly as Hotmail does, or does that depend on how they are programmed? (I'm guessing the latter.)

You are guessing right. grinning smiley

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gdv
(4) kko referred to the limited functionality websites assign browsers that are not on their "approved" list as "safe mode" functionality. Is safety/security supposedly the general issue/concern that User Agent sniffing by websites is intended to address?

Well, referring to "safe mode" I just meant to say: Provide an application that will most likely run in older, less capable browsers (not having the latest bells and whistles). Of course, older browsers are less secure and this can be a reason to exclude them from online banking, for instance. But I wouldn't say it's the general concern. First of all, a user agent switch is usually based on a white list, not on a black list. That is to say, webmasters do not exclude browsers from their websites because they know that these browsers cannot display/handle their website correctly, they exclude them more or less unintentionally because the do not know that these browsers do display/handle their website correctly. In other words, it usually doesn't happen because of knowledge, but because of a lack of knowledge.

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gdv
[I say "supposedly" because there could be other reasons/motivations/purposes such as ignorant and/or outdated programming technique or an intentional effort to influence users' browser choice (e.g., perhaps for financial gain, M$???)]

Human inertia is the most important reason, I guess. tongue sticking out smiley People don't like to change their habits. As well as other people, web designers/developers may not do things the way they do because it's the best way to do it, but just because they've always done it that way. grinning smiley

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: panzer
Date: January 20, 2009 03:44AM

Disrupted, did you ever consider using a different mail provider?

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: disrupted
Date: January 20, 2009 04:59AM

i don't use hotmail or any web-based email. mainly use my ISP account and googlemail because it supports pop.

i was just stating a point about how those sites are.. if you notice, atleast once a week you will find a post about a problem with a site that blocks out k-meleon and just needs a user-agent switch. it's frustrating.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: caktus
Date: January 20, 2009 05:08AM

Quote
kko
Just by pretending to be Elvis, you won't become a better singer. grinning smiley

Nice analogy.drool smiley

Charlie

~~If it ain't broke, why screw it up?~~


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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: gdv
Date: January 20, 2009 12:28PM

Thanks again to all of you for such thoughtful and detailed responses!

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guenter
Ze guenter is German. Zat is why he does not speak English and does not know English spelling. & Ze spell checker vill not show him barring grinning smiley

With the username, guenter I was guessing German, but didn't want to presume! smiling smiley

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guenter
1.) IMHO K-Meleon's answer to "navigator.vendor" informs the more modern sniffer scripts about K-Meleon's real identity. Consequence: they know and can exclude K-Meleon, if they want. I used "give away" like betray. I do not gamble but it could be a poker "tell".
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guenter
If You encounter a site that recognizes that You spoof another ID - You can try to change or delete all prefs that contain the string "vendor". An official Firefox does not have a pref that contains the string "vendor".

OK, by reading through this thread and some MDC and QuirksBlog webpages, I think I'm starting to get the gist of this (as I've stated elsewhere, I'm not a programmer, so most of this is new to me).

To summarize, if a website wanted to block KM, the website might be able to do so based on KM's "general.useragent.vendor" response to the website's "navigator.vendor" sniff/query. And if necessary, you're suggesting KM could be masked from such detection by blanking the "general.useragent.vendor" Value in about:config.

(And then I'm guessing all that's left for the website's "navigator.vendor" sniff/query to detect is the "general.useragent.override" Value, which my KM currently shows as Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.20) Gecko/20081217 Firefox/2.0.0.20)

[Again, it would be nice to be able to set prefs like this per website/domain like you can in Opera, so KM could still generally be representing itself as KM for browser statistic purposes.]

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kko
Well, referring to "safe mode" I just meant to say: Provide an application that will most likely run in older, less capable browsers (not having the latest bells and whistles). Of course, older browsers are less secure and this can be a reason to exclude them from online banking, for instance. But I wouldn't say it's the general concern. First of all, a user agent switch is usually based on a white list, not on a black list. That is to say, webmasters do not exclude browsers from their websites because they know that these browsers cannot display/handle their website correctly, they exclude them more or less unintentionally because the do not know that these browsers do display/handle their website correctly. In other words, it usually doesn't happen because of knowledge, but because of a lack of knowledge.

So generally, when a website blocks a browser that actually does have the necessary security and/or functionality, it's generally "accidental" rather than intentional.

Other than trying to ensure a browser has the necessary security and functional capabilities [even though the sniffing may not be "up to snuff" (URL provided in case the English idiom doesn't translate well) smiling smiley ], are there reasons a website might actually WANT to block KM, or other non-standard browsers?

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guenter
p.s. About: starts several URLs inside the browser. For a list go to the URL about:about. Not all function - some require a parameter - and some were redundant and were destroyed when the chrome was adapted to K-Meleon.

That's a very helpful extra tidbit!

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disrupted
i was just stating a point about how those sites are.. if you notice, atleast once a week you will find a post about a problem with a site that blocks out k-meleon and just needs a user-agent switch. it's frustrating.

That's exactly why I said earlier,

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gdv
guenter, KKO, and disrupted: ...Your answers should be flagged or archived somehow for easy access (maybe a forum sticky and/or a KM wiki entry)

I still think some edited form of your posts in this thread would make a great forum sticky and/or a KM wiki entry) --- probably should be both. grinning smiley

Thanks again!

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 20, 2009 06:01PM

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gdv
I'm not a programmer, so most of this is new to me).

are there reasons a website might actually WANT to block KM, or other non-standard browsers?

KM wiki entry

1.) AFAIK only kko does programming; I, for example, am a 57 y.o. lamer.
2.) No legitimate reason known.

HTML, CSS and ECMA/Java Script have a regulated standard
So it is about standard support both for page and browser.

A nice lake applet site by sterntaler just displays

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Most of this site has been designed utilizing XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0

and this site can be viewed with any browser

that is compliant to these web standards.

Actually the page compromises some standards for IE 5.01 - 6.0 compliance. sad smiley

K-Meleon is standard compliant. The last pages I did I tested with K-Meleon.
When I was finished I checked - they look the same with every other browser.

You may want to exclude text browsers from an arts gallery - but why? They are still used for info gathering and indexing.

Many excluding sites are Web-Mail hosts and other script heavy pages. They have no reason to exclude a browser that sufficiently supports all standards.

Some designers have not yet understood that it boils down to whether a type of rendering engine (there is only a handful) sufficiently supports web standards.

If they had half understood they would test for each accessible engine. Just in case.

But some even believe that two browsers using the same engine render differently.
PPL that believe that would want to test their pages with each browser.
Then they keep a white list of compatible browsers.

Now that is really an idea and habbit from the distant past when browser development had just started.

3.) There might be a FAQ answer. The point many here are not English. I do not feel capable to write an English Wiki or FAQ entry.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2009 06:02PM by guenter.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: cipstuff
Date: March 03, 2009 03:03PM

and the solve to ther problem is?

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: desga2
Date: March 03, 2009 06:14PM

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xGrind
Change your User Agent to Firefox 2.0
Tools -> User Agent -> Firefox 2.0

K-Meleon in Spanish

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: disrupted(unlogged)
Date: March 23, 2009 05:04PM

no good deed goes unpunished (when using an unknown b)
http://www.boingboing.net/2005/01/27/jailed-for-using-a-n.html

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: jmillar
Date: March 26, 2009 03:30AM

It's not a bug IMHO, it's just shoddy coding. ColdMail should look out for the 'Mozilla' string instead of the 'Firefox' one.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: jmillar
Date: March 26, 2009 03:32AM

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panzer
Disrupted, did you ever consider using a different mail provider?

If they persist on this silly behavior it would be the best idea, unless half the universe knows and uses your current e-mail

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: BenoitRen
Date: March 27, 2009 05:24AM

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jmillar
It's not a bug IMHO, it's just shoddy coding. ColdMail should look out for the 'Mozilla' string instead of the 'Firefox' one.
No, they should look for "Gecko", the rendering engine.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: sickley
Date: January 15, 2010 09:33AM

is there anything else that sites can sniff? Facebook seems to be sniffing something other than vendor and UA. i dont know what they changed and why, but gre is gre so why the need to obsessively block k-meleon?

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: Yogi
Date: January 15, 2010 03:45PM

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kko
Well, referring to "safe mode" I just meant to say: Provide an application that will most likely run in older, less capable browsers (not having the latest bells and whistles). Of course, older browsers are less secure and this can be a reason to exclude them from online banking, for instance. But I wouldn't say it's the general concern.

I would add, it's the last concern if anything.

If security would have been the real reason IE would have been at the top of banned browsers for many, many years tongue sticking out smiley

Banks would only have to use always a decent encryption for secure connections.
If a browser is outdated and doesn't have support for it, it simply won't work.
As simple as that.
No matter what ('secure'/'insecure') browser the user is using for online transactions, the bank can't know if the user's system is compromised or not. In case it is, it doesn't make much of a difference what browser is used. Furthermore an OS can become compromised independently of which browser is installed or used.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2010 03:53PM by Yogi.

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Re: a letter to hotmail
Posted by: sickley
Date: January 16, 2010 03:05AM

so facebook is actually sniffing for the gre version now they are almost doing things right

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