[thelist] Detecting AOL browser (was contract feedback requested?)

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Wed Mar 14 04:14:47 CST 2001

On 14 Mar 2001, at 0:22, Bill Mason wrote:

> At 08:44 PM 03/13/2001, you wrote:
> >I also thought that it was not possible to detect AOL on a PC because, so I
> >thought, it identifies itself only as IE.  But I see from your logs it's
> >possible to extract the "AOL" from the agent string to detect (redirect) AOL
> >users.  Is that right?
> That should be right, but due to bugs it's not.  The AOL browser will not 
> include AOL in the string if either:
> 1. The internal browser is IE 3.
> 2. This is the first browser window opened (regardless of version).

I have an easy time believing that there are bugs. I have a hard
time believing that a bug causes the USER_AGENT string to 
change. It's not like they would create a function to generate the
USER_AGENT string - you just store it in memory and reference
it as needed.

And AOL *is* identifying itself in the USER_AGENT string when
it is based on MSIE/3, or else these wouldn't be showing up in 
server logs.

 Mozilla/2.0 (compatible; MSIE 3.0; AOL 4.0; Windows 3.1)
 Mozilla/3.0 (compatible; MSIE 3.01; AOL 4.0; Mac_PPC)

I don't mean to be insulting. You obviously didn't pull this out of
thin air. Where did you read that the USER_AGENT string would 
be something other than constant for any browser?


I got this powdered water. 
Now I don't know what to add. 
            -- Steven Wright

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