The User-Agent Anti-Massacree Movement

Maintainer's note: This page is now obsolete, since I've now finally found and mirrored the original page. Please see:

This is a replacement for an amusing and useful page by Karsten M. Self, that was on the vanished Web site and sadly was not cached.

Karsten had pointed out that the plague of browser-specific Web pages will end sooner if we users give webmasters and their corporate IT brethren a clue via their httpd "user-agent" logfiles. Just set your browser to return this, when queried for user-agent:

W3C standards are important. Stop f---ing obsessing over user-agent already.

(In Firefox, you can accomplish this by installing the User-Agent Switcher extension, which also lets you instantly pick a user-agent setting to fit your needs of the moment.)

To paraphrase what Karsten, borrowing from Arlo Guthrie, said at the time: "You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really strange and ignore him. And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both standards freaks, and ignore both of them. And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walking in, saying 'W3C standards are important' and walking out? They may think it's an organization!

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said, fifty people a day walking in, saying 'W3C standards are important' and walking out? Friends, they think it's a movement. And that's what it is."

Karsten's original suggestion was, of course:

W3C standards are important. Stop fucking obsessing over user-agent already.

The bowdlerised version is recommended for use inside corporate environments; the unexpurgated one has the advantage of showing up nicely in logfile analyses.

Karsten's original Web page was very influential in its day, and his user-agent string had surprisingly high prominence in publicly available statistics. This replacement page aims to keep up the tradition.