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Re: lynx-dev Lynx detection (fwd)

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Lynx detection (fwd)
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 16:20:40 +0100 (BST)

> I realize that you only wanted to be emailed about problems, etc with your 
> page but I'm hoping that you could help me with a problem.  I am a 
> journeyman web designer and am currently finished with a simple script that 
> detects browsers and if their not version 4 the user is redirected.  But 
> this only takes account of Netscape and IE.  I was hoping that you could 
> tell me how I can detect if a user is using a Lynx or possibly other text 

This is the wrong solution - see below.

Client side scripts won't work at all.  Most server side scripting languages
come with some sort of browsercap file that should contain the necessary rules.

> browser so that I can redirect those users to a page without images, div 
> tags and so forth or at least tell me where I might find this information, 
> as I have searched everywhere.

If your HTML needs to include browser dependent code, it is violating
one of the most fundamental principles of HTML, which is that HTML is
about content, not form; could I suggest that you use a more form oriented
language like PDF/Postscript, if your real concern is appearance, not
content, and write HTML properly if content is more important.

If you do do server side User Agent tests for Lynx, you will start getting
complaints on this list and you will increase the trend for Lynx users to
forge the identity of a big 2 browser because they feel that they are
being discriminated against.

(Note, even with Javascript on JS capable browsers, it is usually possible
to test for the presence of specific features in the language rather than
for the browsers that are known to support those features.  However good
HTML will work with Javascript disabled.  Microsoft currently reccommend
disabling it in IE5, because of security problems.)

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