[Talk] Web Browser Exclusion

Greg 'groggy' Lehey Greg.Lehey at auug.org.au
Mon Dec 9 14:08:29 EST 2002

On Sunday,  8 December 2002 at  3:17:07 +1100, David J N Begley wrote:
> Whilst this may not be Unix-specific, it certainly affects those of us not
> using a "mainstream" platform more than anyone else...

I'm not sure it's off topic.  It is an issue in the use of open
standards, which, as you know, AUUG strongly promotes.

> Has anyone had any success in convincing sites to change their
> exclusory practices when it comes to Web browser detection?  By this
> I mean when I site redirects you to an "upgrade your browser" page
> and otherwise will not permit you access to the site.

I was going to say "not much", and quote
http://www.winejobsaustralia.com.au/ as a particularly bad example of
a web site which refused anything except real IE (it even refused
Opera masquerading as IE).  But then I went back and checked, and it
now seems to support all browsers.  I *did* send them mail telling
them what I thought of the previous situation, but I have no evidence
that it was my message that made the web designer See The Light.

Then there was the case of http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/index.asp
(nomen est omen) a few years back.  It refused service to anybody
except IE users.  I put in a formal complaint about that one, since it
was discriminatory, and I was not able to renew my rego on the web.
It turned out that in fact there was no problem using Netscape, and
somebody had discovered that if you bypassed the home page, you could
access the rest of the sequence with no problems.  This page, too, has
been fixed.

Still, there are still too many broken web sites out there.  Should
AUUG take some active position on the matter?

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