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Opera to Stop Spoofing User Agent as IE

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the bold-new-world dept.

The Internet 360

Anonymous reader writes "The Opera browser will stop spoofing its User Agent (UA) as Internet Explorer. Currently Opera, by default, spoofs its UA to identify itself as Internet Explorer. This is seen, by some, as a move that will bring up Opera's usage stats a bit higher, and will hopefully make webmasters, who develop IE centric sites, more aware of Opera."

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Good (0, Troll)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208777)

Maybe this will keep Opera from bitching about how Firefox is "cheating", etc.

Re:Good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208800)

Cheating? About what??

Trying to compete against something given away FREELY as FireFox is (which is incredibly TOUGH to compete with)???

Some facts anyone here is welcome to dispute about FireFox vs. Opera (& vice-a-versa):

Opera: It's THE "good stuff"!

IMO, but also solely based on facts, for a triumvirate of VERY SOLID reasons vs. IE, &/or FireFox:

----

1.) It wins in speed, everytime, in the online tests/analysis I have seen out there for years now at numerous sites in most ALL categories run in said tests!

E.G.-> http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/browserSpeed.html#win [howtocreate.co.uk] speed [howtocreate.co.uk]

SUMMARY:

"So overall, Opera seems to be the fastest browser for windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features.

On Linux, Konqueror is the fastest for starting and viewing basic pages on KDE, but as soon as script or images are involved, or you want to use the back or forward buttons, or if you use Gnome, Opera is a faster choice, even though on KDE it will take a few seconds longer to start. Mozilla and Firefox give an overall good performance, but their script, cache handling and image-based page speed still cannot compare with Opera.

On Mac OS X, Opera and Safari are both very fast, with Safari 2 being faster at starting and rendering CSS, but with Opera still being distinguishably faster for rendering tables, scripting and history (especially compared with the much slower Safari 1.2). Camino is fast to start, but then it joins its sisters Mozilla and Firefox further down the list. Neither Mozilla, Firefox nor IE perform very well on Mac, being generally slower than on other operating systems"

(On the Windows Platform, in THAT test alone, it took 4 of 7 total categories... nuff said on that account! Considering 90% of the world's computers run Windows based Os' (hopefully Windows NT-based ones by now)? That's saying a HELL of a LOT!)

Opera (as you may read for yourselves above) even did great on the OTHER platforms too!

----

2.) Opera is definitely the "least attacked/most secure" of the "big 3" browers'-wise (IE, FireFox/Mozilla/Opera) out there...

----

3.) It is MASSSIVELY "multi-platform" & afaik? NOT just restricted to PC's either - there is a large body of handhelds out there which use Opera as their browser tool such as the Symbian 60 series handphone & most all OS' (including FreeBSD, Linux, etc. & more + Windows).

* :)

So, unless somebody can show us otherwise here, I will stick by those statements!

(They ARE why I like Opera better than the others in the "big 3" of web-browsers & I am mostly a "Pro-Win32" guy & admit it... though I like & finally respect Linux 2.6x core with KDE on the desktop, & really do respect what MacOS X has become as well!)

APK

P.S.=> The ONLY thing FireFox has (and don't get me wrong, I like FireFox, & FAR better than IE 6.x) over Opera?

Is that FireFox is FREEBIE-WARE!

However, some of its freeware model unfortunately (as evidenced by the recent XUL 3rd party addons like GreaseMonkey having to be fixed for security holes) may jeopardize it as did ActiveX DLL extensions to IE!

(E.G.-> ActiveX DLL extensions to IE were initially meant to be for "the good", but one bad apple(s) were all it took to make this featureset for IE a detriment rather than an asset)...

BOTTOM-LINE - Compared head-to-head/mano-a-mano, you see the results above as proofs, Opera's just the best! apk

Re:Good (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208822)

Yeah, what's your point?

Mine is that Opera bitches that Firefox's stats are inflated, but at the same time they mask their own user agent string.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209072)

My point is facts above, pretty simple & enumerated with verifiable tests & FACTS:

1.) Opera is the better performer on MANY platforms vs. FireFox/Mozilla AND also Internet Explorer...

2.) Opera is probably the MOST multiplatform browser of them all from what I have seen.

3.) Lastly that it is the least attacked/shown with vulnerabilities.

Those are my points & why I think (KNOW, rather) that Opera's the BEST choice you have as far as performance, speed, & multiplatform capability.

(Tough to argue with facts/figures/test results)

----

Now, I even said I like FireFox!

I do have it installed here.

However, it has its share of problems which I noted in my last replies' "P.S." portion (e.g.-> GreaseMonkey recent 3rd party XUL addon holes, & that will be just the first imo, there will be more. I hope that this type of 3rd party development doesn't 'burn' the FireFox folks the way ActiveX DLL extensions did IE is/was my point there)

----

And, just so you know?

I have even helped the FireFox/Mozilla team out before spotting a bug for them & helping them to nail it down & patch it with specifics where & when I saw it, & in WHAT conditions.

(AND, this is a plus in their favor from me: They wrote me, THAT DAY, agreeing it was a bug, fixed it the NEXT DAY (fast), but most of all what impressed me? They came to the site it happened @ (www.ntcompatible.com) & spoke to the website owner (his forums board engine, pretty impressive for homegrown, apparently was the problem) & they corrected it together...)

I thought that was the coolest part. They gave us PERSONAL service! They're surfers making a browser FOR surfers like themselves. I cannot knock that.

So, AGAIN - I am NOT "anti-firefox" & again, even have it installed here!

* However, I DO watch it with what XUL extensions I install & how many (too many, or "slower" ones? & FireFox's loadtime becomes VERY slow).

ABOVE ALL? So you know in case you don't??

It is not a "Big Trick" to go into Opera's settings & change the Agent ID string either from the default IE one to others either... anyone can do it, & via a "point & click GUI-easy" interface the Opera browser provides, anyhow!

APK

P.S.=> And, if Opera doesn't declare itself as IE on some sites? Know what happens?? They won't let you view their pages apparently!

So... as others stated here - "they're damned if they do & damned if they don't"... only problem is, the 3 facts I put out?

Show Opera, based on facts/test results, really aren't "damned" @ all!

They're apparently actually producing THE "superior-weapon-of-choice" out there for surfers, which is a faster performer, std.'s compliant, multiplatform, & least vulnerable...

That's all!

From what I have read here? It seems to me, that it's the website masters apparently that need to be the ones NOT 'blocking' non-IE or non-FireFox/Mozilla browsers imo, just what many others here seconded (far more than that) in other replies here... take a read... apk

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209287)

wow... take your pills and be done with it.

Re:Good (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209018)

1.) It wins in speed, everytime, in the online tests/analysis I have seen out there for years now at numerous sites in most ALL categories run in said tests!

This would be important if everyone had slow computers. I remember using Opera way back on when I had a computer that needed a speed bost over IE/Netscape. That was five years ago. But Firefox's performance is more than adequate on every system I used, e.g. Firefox and IE can load pages faster than they can downloads them. Opera may, however, provide a benefit on an old 266MHz system I have, so I plan on trying it out.

2.) Opera is definitely the "least attacked/most secure" of the "big 3" browers'-wise (IE, FireFox/Mozilla/Opera) out there...

I don't see this as an issue. With Firefox, and what I've seen of IE6 SP2, it's not easy to install addons (ActiveX, XPIs.) Furthermore, the additional functionality that most extensions provide is worth the possible (yet unlikely) security issues.

3.) It is MASSSIVELY "multi-platform" & afaik? NOT just restricted to PC's either - there is a large body of handhelds out there which use Opera as their browser tool such as the Symbian 60 series handphone & most all OS' (including FreeBSD, Linux, etc. & more + Windows).

Firefox is available on FreeBSD, Linux, and Windows. Windows and Palm OS handhelds both can have NetFront, an excellent mobile browser, and Windows also has Pocket Internet Explorer. Opera is basically the best choice for Symbian.

However, some of its freeware model unfortunately (as evidenced by the recent XUL 3rd party addons like GreaseMonkey having to be fixed for security holes) may jeopardize it as did ActiveX DLL extensions to IE!

No. These are third party addons that have security holes. I think the additional functionality provided by extensions outweighs by far the *possible* security issues. Opera has no such functionality.

(E.G.-> ActiveX DLL extensions to IE were initially meant to be for "the good", but one bad apple(s) were all it took to make this featureset for IE a detriment rather than an asset)...

The biggest problem with ActiveX is that it became extremely easy for the addons to be installed. Users were easily tricked into installing them, and in some cases, extensions were installed without any user intervention. Both the latest versions of IE and Firefox make installing extensions much more difficult, and, as I said before, the benefit of extensions is well worth the risk.

Re:Good (1)

Cili (687222) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209231)

This would be important if everyone had slow computers. I remember using Opera way back on when I had a computer that needed a speed bost over IE/Netscape. That was five years ago. But Firefox's performance is more than adequate on every system I used, e.g. Firefox and IE can load pages faster than they can downloads them. Opera may, however, provide a benefit on an old 266MHz system I have, so I plan on trying it out.
In my experience, Opera *feels* much faster. No matter if i'm on an Athlon 2200+, no matter if I'm on T1, pages seem to load and display faster in Opera.
Plus all other goodies, like easy mouse gestures, keeping all open tabs when you open it again, reopening accidentaly closed tabs, and now voice.

I like it myself, but anyone is entitled to their opinion.

Re:Good (1)

eyeye (653962) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209026)


1.) It wins in speed, everytime

bollocks, one of the reasons I stopped using opera was its propensity to sit there saying something like "request queued .." and just refusing to load the site, the same site would load fine in firefox. Between that and the ads and the new terrible interface (was that version 6 or 7, i forget) firefox was much better.

Re:Good (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209165)

you should have changed the network settings in opera to allow more requests

you probably had too many tabs open so it queued the page until the others loaded.

i have my settings set high so i can load like 40 tabs and they'll all load fine and fast

by default opera seems to have its network settings set for dialup users

It's like my grandma used to say.... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209138)

"...Why buy the cow when you can get the sex for free? Or something like that, she was all senile and sh*t" - Jason Mewes, Mallrats. Why pay for Opera when, on a modern system, Firefox or a properly configured IE is just as good?
-everphilski-

Forget granny. Different people - different needs. (2, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209269)

Maybe Firefox or IE aren't "just as good" for everyone. Maybe people have different needs. Maybe some people just want a small, fast, feature-rich browser which is secure, and which doesn't require tons of confusing extensions to do various things.

Firefox is more multi-platform (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209181)

There are no binaries for x86_64 of Opera, while I can perfectly run Firefox natively 64 bit. And Gecko will probably become very popular on handhelds too, thanks to Nokia and Minimo.

Re:Good (1)

scarlac (768893) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209223)

I must agree, Opera is faster.

I am a webdeveloper, and I could never do without firefox with the DOM Inspector and web developer extension, but people tend to say firefox is faster than IE, which to my experience isn't right. Firefox is as slow as IE to start, and often even slower. It's horrifyingly slow at rendering >~50 input elements (which makes it bad for industrial web-based systems, that i develop - that's gecko, not FF), and even on a fast machine, I can see how a window is slowly being build up when a javascript alert appears - first the WM kicks in (same on Windows), then the background is drawn and then the controls, and lastly the focus is drawn on whatever button is default. This is the same for "Save/Open file" dialogs in FF, so basicly this needs optimizing.

But! Apart from that, I love FF. It's simple, it's very configurable and _highly_ extendable, it's open source, and it's free. The developers' philosophy for FF is "I wonder what feature we can do without in the next release?", which is great, since browsers tend to get bloated very fast.

I am so close to going on about features of browsers and what belongs and what doesn't, but i'm already too off-topic...

And in /direct/ response to the parent:
GreaseMonkey is a great tool. It's so great and so flexible it's beyond limits, which means security is an issue. I disagree that it will ever become a problem the way ActiveX is, since it's not default, and users of greasemonkey are likely to know what they are plunging into when they get the extension.

To summarize:
- IE is an awful browser by all means that hurts progress of the internet
- Opera is a great browser for both speed and standards. However it lacks simplicity and is /too/ rich a browser. (But I'm amazed that they actually keep it a small download, still)
- Firefox is a great browser for standards and speed is not a problem. With FF 1.5 we'll get "fast forward" + gecko 1.8 which will help a bit on speed. It's simple, extendable and just works without getting in the way. But it needs some work on the edges, and it's still a very young browser.

There. I said it.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208815)

I'm sorry to break this to you, but Firefox-zealots are the 13 year old whiners who know nothing and bitch around, boasting how "perfourment my AMD Athlon 64 overclogged runs with http-pipelining enabled and nvideo gfx omg lol i luv aimgirls!!!1!".

Opera-users tend to be over 16 and are mostly able to articulate themselves in ways that can be comprehended by non-retards.

Re:Good (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208862)

I'm guessing that first anon. coward in this thread is the exception?

That's great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208781)

But when will they stop shipping with spyware?

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208799)

After Mozilla buys them out. ;-)

Eh, (2, Informative)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208871)

It doesn't. It does have an Ad-bar on the free version. But it's well worth the money. And it goes away as soon as you register. It's a lot more low-in-fat than most other browsers around. Even more so than Firefox.

*ducks*

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209267)

First of all, I have YET to have it stated publicly that Opera's banners are "spyware"...

Want to NOT see Opera banners anymore (if you refuse the purchase it)?

This the the trick for that:

Add their adbanner servers to your HOSTS file, with (tcpip loopback adapter address) in front of each, & you won't even SEE their ads anymore...

Want a list of them, email me -> apk4776239@hotmail.com

(For SOME reason, I got this error trying to post them - 'Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted." from the forum engine here)

* :)

YES, it's THAT simple! You can even ALSO then take their "stock" banner ad image:

C:\Program Files\Opera8\images

in the %Program Files%\Opera\images folder, & even replace it with an image of your own, if you keep the size & dimensions the same - almost like personalizing it!

Look, I am not busting on anyone for NOT purchasing software... I know what it can be like to be 'short on funds', like most folks in this life today, but this IS a way to get to what you want.

APK

P.S.=> BUT, like I said before in my init. post here in reply to this one?

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=157615&thre [slashdot.org] shold=1&commentsort=0&tid=95&mode=thread&cid=13208 800 [slashdot.org]

The Opera browser is just faster than others like IE or FireFox/Mozilla & shown so in tests, the least attacked (or one that shows the least vulnerabilities in it), & is quite possibly the MOST "multiplatform" webbrowser in existence... apk

Screwed both ways (2, Insightful)

intmainvoid (109559) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208797)

They're dammed if they do (users getting blocked from sites they would otherwise be perfectly able to access with Opera) and dammed if they don't (on the usage stats).

Can't they just stick the word "Opera" somewhere in the user agent string, but still make like they're IE?

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208813)

Not necessarily. Just make it a user option. If the site works with opera, its reported that opera is looking. If it blocks them, the user checks a "pretend to be IE" box, and bam, it works.

Re:Screwed both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208866)

It already works that way... pressing F12 in Opera pops up a menu allowing you to switch between a variety of user agents with one click.

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208961)

It currently is an option. In fact, it's an option in quick-prefences, so with 2 mouse-clicks you can change your identity to Opera, Mozilla, or IE.

They're talking about the "default" option, which is set when you install. After all, Joe Sixpack probably has no idea what that option would do for him.

But as others have said, they're losing both ways. I've been to sites that won't allow me to access their forms if I'm ID'd as Opera, but ID'd as IE and it's ok.

Re:Screwed both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209081)

You might want to read about Opera's ua.ini file. :)

Re:Screwed both ways (2, Informative)

karmatic (776420) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208820)

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 2000) Opera 5.12 [en]

That's what they currently do.

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209216)

i'm pretty sure most log analysis tools will be counting that as Opera already. Webalizer definitely does.

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208821)

They do. This is they're default user string for Opera 8.01:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; X11; Linux i686; en) Opera 8.01

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208827)

This doesn't seem to be hurting Firefox or Safari, though; I browse with both, and can't recall when a site wouldn't render properly. As far as sites that employ IE-specific technology, are concerned, these sites won't render properly anyway, unless Opera embeds an actual IE rendering layer, like the new Netscape is trying to do.

I, personally, wonder what has taken them so long. Just make it a user-changeable preference, and be done with it. If they want to get clever about it, perhaps make it so that Opera can recognize certain times when it's being blocked from a website because of its UserAgent string, and offer to change it.

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208878)

Try this one with mozilla: http://www.casinocity.nl/ [casinocity.nl] (casino site, you have to be 18+, the insurance company I used to use as an bad example fixed their site)

Anyway, that kind of stupid test is why the pretending to be IE is there. When they just redirect, you do not know if it is acting correct or not.

Anyway: Trying to convince companies & developers to develop good compatible sites is always good!

Re:Screwed both ways (5, Informative)

swright (202401) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208833)

gah, they *already do*!

They've always had Opera and the version in the useragent string - they just have the MSIE bit in there as well.

this fools the lame IE-only stuff, but lets any sensible software detect that really it is Opera.

more info here: http://www.opera.com/support/search/supsearch.dml? index=570 [opera.com]

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209129)

This makes me so mad to keep seeing so many people not understand that point. They really should have been more clear in the article summary.

Re:Screwed both ways (2, Funny)

legirons (809082) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209141)

"They've always had Opera and the version in the useragent string - they just have the MSIE bit in there as well."

We just have to hope that Opera doesn't become popular, otherwise you'll have to have "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible, MSIE 7) (Opera) TheActualBrowserName" in a user-agent to get pages served to you...

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

ampathee (682788) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208835)

Can't they just stick the word "Opera" somewhere in the user agent string, but still make like they're IE?

That's what they were doing, before! So I'm not sure how this will actually impact their stats..

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209232)

Broken stats apps will see the "MSIE 6.0" before the "Opera 8.02", and assume that it's IE6, rather than Opera 8.02.

Re:Screwed both ways (4, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208850)

and dammed if they don't (on the usage stats).
Of course, this assumes that it actually matters how many people use Opera, and that they be accurately counted. I suspect that it only matters for bragging rights, but I'm sure that others will say that `if enough people use Opera, we'll support it'. (Except that if they did their site correctly, it would work on any browser already.)

Opera (the company) has always whined that they weren't being properly counted because of they defaulted to pretending to be IE, so it'll be good to finally remove this whine. (Of course, they can still whine about it, as they'll say it's people using older versions, or people who have changed it manually, so maybe nothing will change.)

Re:Screwed both ways (5, Insightful)

VoidWraith (797276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208953)

Actually, if they did their site correctly, it would work in everything but IE.

Whining? (5, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209175)

"Opera (the company) has always whined that they weren't being properly counted because of they defaulted to pretending to be IE, so it'll be good to finally remove this whine. (Of course, they can still whine about it, as they'll say it's people using older versions, or people who have changed it manually, so maybe nothing will change.)"
I don't get it.

In what way is pointing out the fact that sites often fail to detect Opera because it spoofs as IE by default whining?

What do you mean by "whining" anyway?

Is it whining if your browser is being discriminated against, and you make a point of that? Were the black slaves in the US "whining" when they wanted freedom? Were those who wanted to abolish slavery "whining"? Yeah, I'm purposedly exaggerating slightly, but surely you get my point.

I don't get the hostility towards Opera. The company pays several people to work with web standards in the W3C. The guy who invented CSS works for the company. Even as tiny as Opera is it has still defined what a modern browser is supposed to do. A lot of the "innovations" in Firefox and IE7 were introduced by Opera. Heck, the company even officially opposes software patents [ffii.org] , so it's not even trying to prevent free software from just doing whatever Opera can do (or at least trying). Stuff Mozilla representatives are bragging about in Minimo, such as Small Screen Rendering, spatial navigation, and other things Minimo is supposedly going to revolutionize the mobile browser market with, were invented by Opera, and have been available to users of mobile phones with Opera on them for ages.

Why the constant derogatory comments about Opera on Slashdot? I mean, the first paragraph you wrote was informative, but then you just had to add that second paragraph to make sure that you showed everyone how you really think Opera is lame, "so please don't mod me down for saying something remotely positive about Opera"?

Re:Screwed both ways (1)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208864)

That's what they were doing. But it's about time they stop.

No browser should pretend it's another by default.

I believe it's time for IE to lose the "Mozilla 4.0" too, BTW.

Re:Screwed both ways (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209036)

I like to fuck with Opera blocking sites by entering as IE and then changing to Opera when I'm just about to spend a lot of money there.

could backfire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208798)

as the user will see a web site not working at all, because the smart web server seing this is not IE, distribute page which are broken or malformed or even simply refuse serving. Nonetheless a step in the right direction if at least it force web master to develop web page which really follow the minimum common denominator (aka: what work for every browser).

A better idea... (5, Insightful)

mendaliv (898932) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208805)

I would think a better way to combat the "sites that target opera users" problem would be to have a big button next to "refresh" that says "if the page looks weird click here!"

In that case, the page would refresh and the browser would lie to the webserver about what browser it is for the remainder of that session on that domain.

Best of luck to Opera though. Hopefully there aren't so many sites that will screw the browser over.

Re:A better idea... (1, Redundant)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209085)

That is such a great but simple idea. Why don't you email Opera about it! I'm being sincere here as well. "if the page looks weird click here" is brilliant and such a simple question for the joe sixpacks out there. You should email them.

Re:A better idea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209199)

I clicked the "page looks weird" button on /. and nothing happened. :(

Not likely (4, Insightful)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208807)

Our stats package can supposedly detect Opera's spoofed UA, and I'm still seeing numbers like 0.2%.

Despite my username, right now IE5/Macintosh is the bane of my existance as it is still over the magic 1.0% line.

Re:Not likely (1)

teh_winch (791118) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209075)

It's easy to detect opera pretending to be ie. It sends a ua string like this.

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; OS) Opera 7.0 [la]

Not exactly difficult to detect.

Re:Not likely (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209194)

"Our stats package can supposedly detect Opera's spoofed UA"
Supposedly?
"and I'm still seeing numbers like 0.2%."
Doesn't that tell you that the "supposedly" above might be wrong? Most people agree that (even with today's flawed browser stats), Opera has at least closer to one per cent globally.

Re:Not likely (2, Informative)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209263)

Supposedly as in they claim to detect it, but I haven't actually verified it myself.

Doesn't that tell you that the "supposedly" above might be wrong? Most people agree that (even with today's flawed browser stats), Opera has at least closer to one per cent globally.

Actually it reinforces my opinion that "flawed stats" are an excuse that allows Opera Fans over-estimate their marketshare by dismissing any emprical evidence that runs counter to their assumptions (just what you did). Quite frankly, Opera's issue with stat packages are their problem, not mine, and one I'm glad to hear they are addressing.

Regardless, it's site-dependant, so it's quite possible Opera has 1% marketshare somewhere else, but on this (large, consumer, CSS2) site it's 0.2%.

Re:Not likely (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209279)

IE5/Mac is actually a lot better than the windows version, think of it more like an older version of Mozilla.. It has CSS support which is far in advance of IE6 for windows, but still somewhat behind modern versions of Mozilla or Opera..

Er (3, Insightful)

shreevatsa (845645) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208809)

This is seen, by some, as a move that will bring up Opera's usage stats a bit higher
Bring up the usage stats, or maybe, thanks to the websites that don't even serve you if you're not using IE, bring down the usage itself? (Hopefully not the latter!)


...will hopefully make webmasters, who develop IE centric sites, more aware of Opera.
More aware of the standards, you mean.
Anyway, Opera has much fewer users than Firefox, so I think any difference that Opera makes will be much less than what Firefox would.... still, it's a good thing; I wonder if Opera users weren't ashamed all this while to be identified as IE users? :P

Re:Er (1)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208919)

I wonder if Opera users weren't ashamed all this while to be identified as IE users?
Eh, It's the first thing I changed upon installing. One good thing I could see as possible, would be identifying itself as Opera, but when a site refuses to work without IE, it can just pop-up a message asking if you'd like to identify as Internet Explorer. Although it's already done easily enough by pressing 'F12' followed by the letter 'T' and then 'F5' to refresh the page. :-)

User Agent Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208810)

and will hopefully make webmasters, who develop IE centric sites, more aware of Opera.

For a competent Web programmer, it will also eliminate the inconvenience of automatically sending broken, "Internet Explorer compatible" output to a browser that can properly interpret a page that complies with Web standards.

Hm, maybe... (1)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208955)

I thought Opera could render IE-only code properly, for the sake of convenience, but at the same time be standards compliant? I don't know, not sure. I just thought that was the case. Anyone care to share some knowledge? :-)

It's about darn time, but not really... (5, Interesting)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208823)

Opera has the option to identify itself as Opera, Mozilla, and IE. IE is by default, for some reason which I don't know (anyone care to explain?) why. Anyone using Opera would probably already be savvy enough to change those settings if they wanted too. But some people are just too lazy, and since there's no real benefit to it, they just leave it as is.
Expect IE's market share to drop a bit, and for Opera's to go up. :-) Not significantly though, but it's a step in the right direction.
It's useful, but there's no reason why someone else's browser should be set by default. Don't know, I just never really understood why they did that to begin with.

All-in-all, my point was, that although this is a good thing for the numbers, it's not something largely significant.

Re:It's about darn time, but not really... (4, Informative)

kronocide (209440) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208852)

Because some sites will simply give you an error page if the agent is not IE or possibly Mozilla. Since Opera is highly IE compatible, it's meaningful to circumvent that "feature" of some sites and just pretend to be an IE browser. I hope this is a sign that Opera is now common enough so that the Opera people feel confident that site owners will not filter them out.

Re:It's about darn time, but not really... (1)

Lorean (756656) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209041)

Case in point: http://www.expedia.ca/ [expedia.ca]

Re:It's about darn time, but not really... (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209146)

That does not fix the problem. What will fix the problem is accurate reporting of the user agent and repeated complaints to the site authors until the site is fixed to not blindly cough up error messages, or at least allow users to browse with a warning that not all functions may work.

I do that for my page -- it's written to W3C standards and is validated by their checker. It tells you that it's standardized and to use a standards-complaint browser -- but it won't stop you from deciding to browse anyway with whatever you're using now.

Big button? (0)

orzetto (545509) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208838)

Maybe they should implement a big, friendly button to allow even the most clueless user to identify as Explorer, with some wizard to explain why it can be useful. This is an important functionality.

Re:Big button? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208912)

and perhaps, as well, when the browser is launched, it's start page could be simple, soothing color, and printed in large, friendly letters, the words, "Don't Panic".

Well, kinda... (2, Informative)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209004)

All you have to do is press 'F12' to see the menu with the options to change between Mozilla/Opera/Internet Explorer. Anyone that uses a new browser would most-likely play around with all the options to get accustomed to the interface. It's not a menu that would go undetected. "Quick Preferences" is a bit attention grabbing as well. ;-)

Re:Big button? (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209135)

... with a wizard to explain why it's a stupid idea that just leads to continued stupidity of web admins ...

about time (1)

Celt (125318) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208840)

Its about time in fairness, when people argue that some sites don't work when its set to Opera surely the same argument can be made for Firefox.

Its important that sites see realistic stats of what people are using.

Opera not supported (2, Funny)

joepeg (87984) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208841)

I tried to read the linked article with the new Opera release, but it said it only supports IE ...

Yes, it is... (1)

Sr. Pato (900333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209044)

I'm assuming you were going for a (Score: +5, Funny), since I just tried it and it did work. :-P And I'm not spoofing as IE, either! Hurray for intercompatible websites! Standards rock!

Re:Yes, it is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209179)

Standards rock!

Yeah! Everybody should have one...

quick-change menu (1)

Dakisha (526733) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208849)

Opera has a quick-change menu; hit F12 and you can select between opera/mozilla/IE - Although afaik it shows as IE/opera with the opera stats. It'll be nice to see what the usage stats turn out like though; personally opera does everything I want better than any of the others. Firefox is clunky by comparison, and I love the complete customisation of opera. Not to mention decent tabbed browsing (firefox tabbed browsing is horrible)

It's a Good Thing(tm) (1)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208869)

Spoofing user agent was lame to begin with. There's no standard called MSIE.

Re:It's a Good Thing(tm) (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209099)

When 90% of the web-using populace is using it, yes there is.

Good idea (1)

Wizzmer (862755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208872)

It's about time that Opera starts showing up in the stats instead of inflating Internet Explorer's market share. If MSIE's share drops enough, people will start making sites that take other browsers into account.

Re:Good idea (1)

teh_winch (791118) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209124)

Opera already shows up in stats correctly unless the detection software is crap.

All of Operas user agent strings contain the word "opera".

For example when pretending to be ie the ua string is similar to this

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; en) opera 8.0

All you need to do to detect opera is look for "opera" in the ua string before you check for ie. Not exactly difficult.

Who the fuck uses Opera? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208876)

Does anyone with a fucking clue actually use Opera?

Now is the time... (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208881)

With MS warning everyone to update the browser sniffing libs for the IE7 release, now is the time to make changes for those who are trying to do something where the client browser gets funky with specific HTML coding.

It doesn't say just IE (4, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208888)

I'm running Opera 7.54. I have it set to report the useragent as MSIE 6

Here is my useragent:

"Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1) Opera 7.54 [en]"

It says Opera 7.54, unless your log software is stupid it should still be able to identify it as Opera

Re:It doesn't say just IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209151)

Please mod this up,
PS. Slashdot is stupid

Re:It doesn't say just IE (2, Informative)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209234)


Exactly. Only really really braindead software actually misidentifies Opera, so its usage stats will likely not shoot up any significant amount. What will happen though is webpages from 1998 will have to be updated to stop checking for IE vs NS4 with silly useragent checks and start using object existance checks.

Sparked in part by Eric Meyer? (4, Informative)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208889)

In the past few days Eric Meyer [meyerweb.com] , CSS guru and general cool guy, released a version 1.1 of his wondeful S5 presentation system [meyerweb.com] . Right afterwards a part-time employee of Opera Software posted a rant on his weblog [opera.com] bitching that Eric gives Opera the "cold shoulder" and questioning S5's status as being cross-browser compatible. As Eric says in a follow-up blog on the topic [meyerweb.com]
Lying about S5's cross-browser nature? Giving Opera the cold shoulder? Utterly wrong on both counts. I've done everything I can to make sure Opera is still at this particular table.

As a test Eric disabled the Opera-validation code, changed Opera to properly identify itself and ran the default S5 slideshow...
Everything worked just fine except for two things. One, the browser window had a vertical scroll bar for no apparent reason. Two, the controls were nowhere to be found, either by hovering over where they're supposed to be or using the "C" key to toggle them.

So is it possible that Opera took this as a slap in the face and maybe are starting to change their opinion of their place in the world, i.e. "if I can't easily detect your browser I can't begin to fix my code"? Are they trying to stand up against the PR machine that Firefox has behind it to say that they're still in the running, and maybe also make life easier for web developers who'll finally be able to easily identify their browser?

No matter what the reasons, its a good decision IMHO.

Damien

Re:Sparked in part by Eric Meyer? (2, Interesting)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209217)

"So is it possible that Opera took this as a slap in the face and maybe are starting to change their opinion of their place in the world, i.e. "if I can't easily detect your browser I can't begin to fix my code"?"
No.

First of all, Meyer might be a big CSS guru and all, but the creator of CSS actually works for Opera, and Meyer's word on browser useragent strings doesn't really make much of a difference if you are going to use Opera on real web sites.

Also, you can easily detect Opera even when you identify as IE. It still includes "Opera" in the user agent string.

So no. Meyer is irrelevant when it comes to changing the user agent string, as far as I can tell.

Firefox needs US Spoofing (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208896)

I haven't touched Opera since I switched to Firefox a year ago, but one feature I miss is Opera's ability to advertise itself as IE 5!

Re:Firefox needs US Spoofing (3, Informative)

Scoria (264473) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209008)

Have you considered installing the User Agent Switcher [mozilla.org] extension for Firefox?

Re:Firefox needs US Spoofing (1)

x86eon (896508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209034)

You can always set Firefox to identify itself as any browser you'd like simply by changing the general.useragent.vendor and general.useragent.vendorSub strings in "about:config".

Re:Firefox needs US Spoofing (3, Informative)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209155)

Sounds like you need User Agent Switcher. Go to http://update.mozilla.org/ [mozilla.org] and look for it, it's a Firefox extension that comes in handy (though I rarely need it). You can define custom user agents in addition to the ones it includes. Here's a link, not sure if it will work as a direct link though.

https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php ?id=59 [mozilla.org]

User agent browser name should be configurable (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208993)

The browser name in the browser should be configurable. You end up with browser nazi sites like this one run by an anti-IE-nazi [caffeine-junkies.com] that put up nasty messages based on your browser. The ability to change the browser name could help get around this type of bad web site design.

Re:User agent browser name should be configurable (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209097)

wow article link bashing is now cross-article?

That really ticked you off didn't it :)

Re:User agent browser name should be configurable (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209136)

yes. I had to check it out when someone in the article mentioned that IE-only "special" front end.

Prediction: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209010)

IE usage statistics will be down by two.
 

Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209020)

What many people don't know is that Opera already identifies itself as Opera (since v6 AFAIK).

This is Opera v8.0 UA string when set to identify as Internet Explorer:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; en) Opera 8.02
And this is in Opera v8.0 when set to identify as Opera:
Opera/8.02 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en)
The problem is that many old servers still serve different web sites or deny access to that server if they don't find Mozilla somewhere in the UA string. This is why IE7 also has "Mozilla/4.0" at the beggining of its UA string. To preserve backwards compatbillity. If you're wondering why some web servers don't allow browsers with no "Mozilla" in their UA string, it's because Netscape used this UA string and many servers didn't allow other "nonstandard" browsers to their site. Remember this was back in the day when Netscape had 95% share and no one really cared about standards.

And any half decent UA sniffing script already knows about Opera. If it weren't so it would also detect IE as Mozilla - because IE's UA string looks something like this:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0b; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
To sum things up:

a) Opera has allways identified itself as Opera, IE as IE and Mozilla as Mozilla.

b) This won't boost Opera share because every web script kiddy already knows that EVERY browser (except the newest Safari and Opera 8.10) uses a Mozilla at the beggining of the UA string.

c) It may happen that you won't be able to view some really old sites (1996) which still run on non-Apache/non-IIS servers.

Re:Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209257)

So why not set the default string to Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Opera 8.x; )? That way you have the Mozilla/4.0 in front but are not lying about the browser. I believe Konqueror does the same thing (i.e. Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Konqueror x.x; Linux i686) and it works fine.

Go Opera! Not! (1)

retzwerx (899989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209022)

Designing sites compatible for both major(widely used) browsers (IE and FF) is a pain. And heck AFAIK Opera snubs some css syntax, sheez.

Re:Go Opera! Not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209087)

I write sites that conform to the strictness of W3C, and rarely have problems in any browser (I test it in Opera/FF/MSIE + Mac IE/Konqueror etc.).

Learn XHTML and CSS and they might work..

Re:Go Opera! Not! (1)

retzwerx (899989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209127)

yeah, that's what i'm doin` as of the moment, reviewing some elements & attributes. thanks btw!

Re:Go Opera! Not! (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209172)

Just design a standards-compliant site and make sure it's good by using the HTML validator at w3c.org. A proper browser will be able to show your site correctly due to your following the standards. Provide a link to the validator allowing users to validate the site for themselves to show that it's properly built. I've done this for the site I built at work as it's the right thing to be doing.

Opera is a piece of shit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209043)

Why do people even use this browser? Nobody I know uses it. If I write my own shitty browser can I get slashdotted too every time I change my UA identifier?

About Time (1)

firstadopter.com (745257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209045)

This was kind of silly. About time.

the UA in opera is easily changable.... (1)

Eugene (6671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209060)

by *default* Opera set it's UA to be IE, but any selfware Opera user will change it to be Opera anyway. (I've been using Opera since 4.xx, and I always set mine to Opera). it's not something obscure to set, it's in the quick menu (F12, then set the Identify as Opera/Mozilla/IE)

I personally like Opera a lot more then Mozilla/Firefox, because it's gesture command is much faster and useful then what's availible so far in Mozilla.

Necessary evil... (2, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209139)

Thing is, while Opera can render pages "designed for IE" just fine, a lot of sites still refuse to load [opera.com] if the browser's not IE. Nevermind sites like Hotmail, which deliver purposedly broken CSS [theregister.co.uk] if the browser detected is Opera - making the page look funny or disabling functionality like purging of the spam mail folder.

    Opera makes it easy to change the browser identification (via "Quick preferences"), but still, it can be annoying. Specially for non-technical users.

nig64 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209182)

their pa8ting

What they do not yet do is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209221)

Correcting the stupid bug that prevents one from typing international characters in Opera on Linux/Mandriva/KDE (like ñ, é, ü, etc.).

All (I mean *ALL*) other apps deal correctly with accents -- and Opera up to 7, too -- but not Opera 8.

My wife and daughter prefer Opera to Mozilla. I use Konqueror, but was ok with Opera until that bug appeared _months_ ago.

Already filed a bug, no answer whatsoever, forums (fori?) just acknowledge the problem; the suggested solution is using the statically compiled version (which is lame, to say the least).

If I'm ignorant of some already known solution, please, please, somebody do enlighten me!

Also they have another problem under KDE: Opera does not print. People even post scripts to deal with this (which is lame, too -- not the scripts, but Opera is lame).

But there's an easy workaround here: print with Opera to a file (postscript), open Konq as filemanager and print with Kghostscript. Too easy, and I'd like to post this solution on MyOpera's forums. Guess what? They want me to register!

What are they afraid of? That I post a solution in public and charge them afterwards? Boy, the things we have to do to remain anonymous these days... how long can I remain anonymous without being a criminal just for doing that?

A Question (2, Interesting)

fossa (212602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209238)

Ok, browsers have User Agent strings. Not all browsers are compatible with every web standard. Websites are becoming more complex (google maps etc.) and taking advantage of newer browsers. So, the question is, do we limit ourselves to the lowest common denominator (among browsers above a certain market share threshold at least), or do we make sites that can change depending on the browser?

If yes, then should the site do browser detection and serve up different pages? If not (and I think if certainly should be "not"), then how do we go about supporting an ever widening gap in browser features? Simply wait for all browsers above our threshold market share to catch up? I suppose that's what we do now, but it's quite annoying to not be able to use some nice features because of that.

Another thought: web apps (vs. installed apps) have the great advantage of being upgradeable with no user action. But eventually we get to the point where upgrades require the user to take action and upgrade her browser... So the web app just serves as a buffer to user action.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13209254)

firefox users have fun spoofing there user agent as internet explorer

to make it look like internet explorers stats are going up http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/more-info/useragen tswitcher/ [mozdev.org]

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