XML Client detection

rev-bob at gotc.com rev-bob at gotc.com
Mon Nov 1 21:47:07 GMT 1999

Hi there.  I'm new to this list, so hopefully someone else has already tackled this problem 
and has an answer handy.  ;)

I am a content provider; I'm the webmaster for www.gotc.com.  I've already tricked out 
a way to generate my pages as both HTML (*.html) and XHTML (*.xml), and I have 
the architecture set up so that I can conceivably switch visitors to the appropriate pages 
automatically.  The idea is that when an XML-compliant browser visits the site, it will be 
directed to the XHTML pages, and the rest will be shunted over to the HTML pages.  
(iHTML is a godsend for such matters....)

Some of you have probably already seen the problem: I need a way to detect XML 
compliance from the server level, using only the data normally sent to the server by the 
UA.  My initial thought is to go by the user agent string in some fashion; if nothing else, I 
could keep a list of UA "signature" strings which are XML-compliant, test for them, and 
act accordingly...yet this seems to be rather the long way around.  Not for the first time, 
I find myself wishing that there was some sort of standard way for UAs to list their 
capabilities for the server - something perhaps as simple as a parenthetical string of the 
type (HTML4,XML1,CSS2).

Does anyone have either (a) a partial list of XML-compliant browser UA strings or (b) a 
suggestion for an alternate approach?

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/

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