1x1 of what #webdev's should not do, but even Steam does it: UA sniffing.
If you try to reproduce it, it works, because Firefox shipped with a crazy workaround and spoofs the #UA. See https://github.com/webcompat/web-bugs/issues/34171.
More details: https://social.wiuwiu.de/@rugk/102412860162095905
@rugk Oh wow, I didn't know Firefox started to do this. This is definitely the wrong way to go. Browsers should not implement fixes for broken websites, it is a losing battle. It is only a few select websites now, but it definitely does not scale.
I agree that it is likely due to the browser monoculture. and companies testing with only chromium based ones. It's the IE situation all over again. That too extended the web with non-standard features (e.g. ActiveX) and look how much joy it brought.
Well they appearently have no choice. Of course they'll loose this battle, but at least the biggest issues can be worked around.
@rugk Why do we have user agents again? Is there any value in Firefox sending a different user-agent then chromium? 🤔
Maybe only if there are indeed incompatibilities and websites need to workaround browser bugs. May happen too… 🤔
@rugk Mmh, right. But now we have browsers working around website bugs... this feels so wrong 🙈
@rugk I find it more problematic that FF decides to spoof the UA string themselves. Those sites are broken, so let them be broken.
AFAIK there are several FF addons which allows the USER to spoof the UA string if they so desire.
I've decided on multiple occasions NOT to use a company/organization's services exactly because they "only support browser X" and FF/Mozilla is taking that away from me.
@FreePietje "let them be broken" -> this would and I am actually sure will costs Firefox users then. For such famous sites, the "average user" just thinks "This does not work in Firefox, so I'll use Chrome!".
And in the worst case, they'll see that all websites work in Chrome and blame Firefox for having problems.
That's just how people see the world. "No one" installs an add-on to circumvent that, no one even knwows this would help, no one even knows what an UA even is.
@FreePietje even if I saw this Steam message I would not bother to try potentially 10 workarounds to let it show me this thing.
As an advanced user you can thankfully always use about:compat to see all this evil sites and avoid them.
Anyone else "just" wants to use the web. It just has to work.🤷
My problem is two fold:
1) You're rewarding sites that say "IE(/Chrome) only" thereby undermining of the OPEN internet: regardless of device/apps you use, if you follow the web standards it will work
2) If someone I follow hadn't boosted your OP, I wouldn't even have known this was happening. FF/Mozilla is taking away my freedom without informing me.
Also, I doubt I'm the only one who'd contact the site to tell them to fix it. But I'd have to know there is a problem to begin with.
@FreePietje what Steam is doing is not fine!
It's exactly the problem that they do break it.
I guess, we know this is a pretty sad and desperate move Firefox does here, yes! But they have to do… they have no other choice!
I mean, Steam did this deliberately, it's not by accident.
So this whole about:compact just is a big big demonstration of the web in 2019, that was my point to show. *Because* devs break the "open web", browsers are so desperate to need to fix it, to not loose users.
@FreePietje after all, what should they do otherwise?
* not workaround it -> users will switch to Chrome
* show a big message "this website is 'bad'" -> users will click it away and don't care at all (after all, it works); in the worst case, they will even be annoyed by _that_ (for them "useless") message appearing all over again and then get angry at Firefox.
You know, people blame the carrrier of the bad message, not the bad message itself.
@rugk I do appreciate that "contact site" is part of the standard process.
I can also follow your/their logic.
The thing is that I use Free Software for ethical reasons.
Consequently, rewarding unethical behavior does not sit well with me. I also think "users will switch to Chrome" is an easy cop out which I doubt is true as ppl don't easily switch.
On many occasions I've pointed out unethical/problematic behavior by Google (and others) to make ppl aware that there is a problem that needs ...
@rugk to be fixed (imo). And I try to point to better alternatives.
But when those issues are hidden, 'normal users' will never see a problem and thus never see a reason to adjust their behavior, which only strengthens Google's position allowing them to do even more harm then they already do.
So while FF behavior might be seen a benign at first glance, in the long term it will do more harm then the short term 'gain'.
Yeah OK, see the point.🙂
@FreePietje okay one more argument: Your claim is users are unlikely to switch the browser. (which I'd rather not follow for browsers, considering some users use two browsers… though… mhh… whatever)
However, if you say this, then users are also (IMHO even more*) unlikely to switch the software in their browser, i.e. switch from the bad-behaving Steam to uhm… dunno… Jitsi Meet (for this feature?)…
@FreePietje *i guess even more, because users have learned that switching their browser keeps all other websites functional
(whereas the change from oen other software/website to a completely different one is much bigger)
I wish there was a 'quick fix' for this, but I fully realize that I am/need to be in this for the long haul.
It will take considerable time for people to see the pattern of harmful behavior AND to let them realize that they can and need to be part of the solution.
@rugk In a similar vein, I get annoyed by https://nos.nl/artikel/2315967-kabinet-wil-verplichte-updates-voor-slimme-apparaten.html (dutch) where the Dutch gov wants to mandate updates for IoT devices.
It may make sense at first glance, but it's fighting the wrong problem. It will also not happen/work. Your Android powered fridge will NOT receive 15+ years of security fixes, because Google won't give a shit after 1-2 years and your manufacturer will just tell you to buy a new fridge.
All that so you can receive a notification on your app that your milk is up?
@FreePietje we get off-topic, but I'd also disaggree here.
Argument "not works" is strange. If it's law, the producer has to make it happen. And if they maintain their own kernel then after Google discontinues support.
Also I don't get what your alternative solution would be.
@rugk Also mentioned in the article: mandatory updates for mobile phones, which afaik is already required. How's that working out? ;-)
Having cameras all over your fridge (inside and outside) and connected to the internet fixes what problem?
When I pour myself a glass of milk I can see/feel whether I'm running out and need to buy some new.
Lately there has finally been some controversy about Ring doorbells.
Does your doorbell/fridge really need to be connected to the internet?
wrt "not works": the shop where you buy your device/fridge is the one who will be responsible. Not your fridge manufacturer and not Google. How is your sales person going to pressure the fridge manufacturer to solve his/her problem? (The article already identified/described this issue superficially)
We've already seen that it is impossible in the Android world, which is likely to be used in many IoT appliances.
/end OT (?)
Hu, in the Netherlands there are mandatory phone updates?
In Germany at least that is not required.
@rugk Then I might have been mistaken as it seems unlikely to be in .nl but not in .de/.eu
I am sure that there was at least a discussion about it (3 years iirc, still below the lifespan I normally have for my phone)
1) actually, these websites do not care. They would implement proper webstandards if they would care about the lost users of Firefox/any other device, but actually Firefox market share is too less too matter.
80% of users use Chrome anyway, so they don't care…
2) I doubt the information "Firefox will fix sites that deliberately break/work only in Chrome for you." if an informational message to users.
Again: Usual users just care that it works™.
@FreePietje contact: Yes, that's what https://webcompat.com/ is about: As https://github.com/webcompat/web-bugs/issues/34171 indicates they have/are contacting Steam in this case.
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