Closed Bug 227863 Opened 16 years ago Closed 16 years ago

User-Agent Header should make more sense


(Thunderbird :: Message Compose Window, defect)

Windows 2000
Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: mscott, Assigned: mscott)



(1 file)

Thunderbird currently issues a fully qualified HTTP style user-agent for the
User-Agent header in outgoing messages.

i.e. Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.6b) Gecko/20031205

We should really use a more user friendly user agent in outgoing:

User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.4 (20031205)

This is more consistent with the User-Agent strings used by apple, outlook,
Lotus, etc. 

NOTE: This has no effect on the user agent string used for http requests by the
mail client!
Attached patch the fixSplinter Review
Now uses the following format:

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5a (20031205)
Target Milestone: --- → Thunderbird0.5
checked in.
Closed: 16 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Do you know that many Anti-Spam Tools are using the UA for filtering ?
You get currently a negative count (good) for a message send with Mozilla and TB
Matti - one of the most widely used such tools (SpamAssassin) no longer does any
negative spam associations for particular UA, as of the latest version. The
number of "good" UAs was dropping to nothing as spammers forged the ones that
the filters look for.

Other filters will adapt - they have to be updated to be useful anyway...
I don't know if it's such a good idea to cut off the UA like that.

Beacause of those "I am the best webmaster"-freaks who use
javascript-browser-switches I would prefer a part in the UA to show "those
browsers belong to one family". I think, the best keyword for that is "gecko".
"mozilla" is used by IE too, although the real mozilla has another number.

I would prefer 

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5a (Gecko/20031205)

Think about "opera" who is seen often as "IE". I won't see, that mozilla/FB gets
the same problem. The user has to fake the UA to visit pages.

I've seen some pages, the last month who only test for IE 4, 5, 6 and Netscape
4.x - other visitors get a page "download a new browser...".

I think the change to that short UA brings more trouble than it simplifies
you are confused frank. This is an email header field and has nothing at all to
do with the user agent used for http requests that show up on web logs. Please
note that this bug is listed under thunderbird and not a browser.
mhh sure... aeh sorry.. It seems, that i mixed up 2 things. I read somewhere,
that the browser UA will be changed too. Then I found today a posting with that
bug linked. So i mixed up..

sorry.. i'm standing beside of me the last days.. I shouldn't try to "work
normal" at the moment this won't work - I make a misteke after the other *huu*
Small additional notice. Outlook exists only for Windows, Apple software is also
clear. TB exists under different operating systems. I would prefer to have a
additional entry for the used OS like 

User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.4 (20031205) Windows 
User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.4 (20031205) Linux
How does this change make the user-agent "more user friendly"?
What kind of (normal) user sees this header?

The most important reason for this header is to gain enough information *for
support and debugging purposes*. 

There're certain problems with a cross-platform, cross-OS program that depend
upon the knowledge of the target system - but now you have make extensive
queries before you may get down to the core problem. Especially those of us who
"provide" some kind of end user support (via newsgroup or personanal mail) will
be drastically hampered by this.

Please consider restoring the full header.

(There're already bugs filed for that, e.g. bug 230182.)
The new header looks good in my opinion.  However, the operating system should
be part of the UA header.

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5a (20031219) Mac OS X
Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5a (Mac OS X/20031219)
Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5a (Gecko/Mac OS X/20031219)

New bug for this issue?
There was checked in a patch yesterday which will include the operating system:

Please take care that this bug is closed. Take a look at bug 230182 instead.
Note that the "Fix" for this bug has broken the ability to use the general.useragent.override preference.  
I have opened Bug 234224 that explains.
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