The bizarre world of Internet Explorer never ceases to amaze me. Today’s revelation – Internet Explorer 11 doesn’t even like to admit that it’s Internet Explorer.
When a web browser visits a web site, it identifies itself to the web site with a string of information that contains various elements that say to the web site “hey, I’m here, this is the type of web browser I am, my version, operating system”. It’s known as the user-agent string.
In the past the user-agent string for Internet Explorer would look something like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0)
The ‘MSIE’ stands for Microsoft Internet Explorer, so pretty easy to work out which browser is visiting your web site.
Today I was wondering why I could not teach some web site code to recognise it was being visited by IE, did a little research and came up with this page of explanation from Microsoft.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko
What’s missing? The ‘MSIE’ of course!
If I was using Firefox, the string would say FIREFOX, like this:
MOZILLA/5.0 (MACINTOSH; INTEL MAC OS X 10.8; RV:26.0) GECKO/20100101 FIREFOX/26.0
Safari would say ‘SAFARI’, and Chrome would, well now there’s the rub, because Chrome can say CHROME as well as SAFARI:
MOZILLA/5.0 (MACINTOSH; INTEL MAC OS X 10_8_5) APPLEWEBKIT/537.36 (KHTML, LIKE GECKO) CHROME/32.0.1700.77 SAFARI/537.36
Remind me again why I got into this web development malarky?