XML Client detection

rev-bob at gotc.com rev-bob at gotc.com
Tue Nov 2 10:42:29 GMT 1999

> [Rev. Robert L. Hood]

Please - Rev. Bob or even Bob is fine.  ;)

> >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.
> Have you tried looking at the Accept: header?  It's a list of media types
> accepted by the user agent; if it includes 'text/xml' or 'application/xml',
> you should be able to send XML.

Actually, no - I *hadn't* looked at that yet.  From what you say, provided I can access 
it, that should be exactly what I'm looking for in most cases, and may help with some 
other tailoring projects as well.

I just did a little looking around, though, and all is not exactly peachy.  For instance, one 
page I checked showed my HTTP_ACCEPT value as the following (using IE5):

   image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/vnd.ms-excel,
   application/msword, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/x-comet, */*

This seems to be all the *non-text* stuff IE5 can handle (including that little Comet 
Cursor control I installed a few days ago), but this still doesn't help much.  According to 
this, I can't even reliably test for being able to read HTML.  NN2.02 and NN4.7 are 
much the same, minus the application/* stuff and (in the case of NN4.7) adding the 
image/png type.  The "*/*" type is singularly useless, in that it can't possibly be accurate 
- ten years from now, that would match "image/holographic", but we know that wouldn't 
work in anything existing now.

In short, although the theory behind this sounds really neat at first, it doesn't look all that 
promising In Real Life.  (I appreciate the lead, though - does anyone else have something 
that might take us even further?)

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

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