Very cool! 'User-agent selector' plugin for IE 8

Hi, guys:

Thought if you’re planning to install different browsers to test/display your web page.
Stop it please now :slight_smile:

There’s a great plugin for IE 8, utilizing the plugin to simulate different browsers , so your web page will be looking like is working on different browsers.
The principle is to change the specified ‘user-agent’ string in http header, then make your IE 8 browser looks like Firefox, Safarif, iPhone or more known/unknown browsers. :smiley:

Any advice is welcome :slight_smile:

Such a method might have come in handy during the Browser Wars. For example, a few years ago I went to CVS using Opera and the site used browser sniffing to send me to a page that said “This site doesn’t support your browser” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). So I changed the useragent to IE (quite easy with Opera, it’s built in, no plugin needed) and the site let me in OK. And I didn’t see anything wrong with the look or feel either, so I don’t know what their problem was.

Hopefully sites have learned to stop doing browser sniffing and use support testing instead.

In any case, as felgall mentioned, changing a browser’s useragent header isn’t enough to make the browser emulate the browser it’s masquerading as. If a site looks different doing so it’s because it’s browser sniffing.

Oh if only that were the case, have you seen the ever growing number of people who use browser sniffing to find out when people are using a mobile device to forcefully redirect them to a more limited mobile friendly version of their site (whether their device can handle the full experience or not)? It’s driving me insane that professionals keep making the same obscene mistakes over and over. First we did browser sniffing for IE VS Netscape (out of a need to-do so), then we started sniffing to redirect based on screen resolutions (oh the days of bad scripting), then we started sniffing to redirect people on the basis of browser bugs (ah the no IE6 here style of message) and now everyone’s begun doing it with mobile devices because their too lazy to consider the end-user’s needs. Boy did I need to get that out :wink:

All that appears to do is to change the useragent. Internet Explorer doesn’t change how it works just because you change the useragent. IE will work exactly the same way regardless of the useragen. So you will still need all those other browsers in order to test your page in those browsers.

There are relatively simple ways to change the IE or Firefox useragent to anything at all without needing any sort of plugin.

Just about all of the Google apps I have seen have implemented browser sniffing - presumably because Google haven’t employed anyone who understands JavaScript.

Browser sniffing became unnecessary when Netscape 2 was released as since then all browsers have supported using feature sensng to determine whether the browser can do what the script requires without needing to test if a free format user enterable field matches a particular value. Only browsers prior to Netscape 2 didn’t support feature sensing.