Sites shouldn't support browsers, but standards. By all means check if a browser supports a certain standard, and provide an error message for browsers that are too far behind, but don't ban them simply for having the wrong user agent.
Correction: known bad apps (where changing it just works but they've decided not to let you use it).
I consider it very shameful behavior, sabotaging the internet.
But you are right.
It ends up being a feature requested by customer support teams that you prevent the app from working on unsupported browsers because users don’t read banners or pop ups and it generates pointless tickets. If you make your users change their UA there’s an awareness that things might break.
'supported browsers' are browsers that you lose customers if you don't support. You don't lose customers by telling them to switch to Chrome. Firefox's market share is small and the number of people who exclusively use Firefox and refuse to switch is vanishingly small.
That's a great attitude towards your users. No, you, the vendor, adapt to what your users bring.
That is the standard that the web was built around. Lazy developers that only wish to cater to the one browser that they have on their desk and that refuse to recognize that the world is a bit larger than their minimal view (including screenreaders and other accessibility device) should get another job. And if the company they work at is run competently they will (Microsoft apparently is not one of those, but that's not really news either).
If a browser is standards compliant it should be supported. Note that standards are there for a reason, they create a level playing field. So all you really need to do is to ensure that your implementation is conform the standard, you then still have to test to ensure that your assumptions hold in light of practical applications of that standard on the rendering side. But there really is absolutely no excuse why barring non-standard extensions your website would not work with all browsers with more than 1% market share.
Would be a good place to start for your compatibility testing.
- 8.3% is almost much larger than the metric you actually care about -- the percentage of users that will not use Chrome (or your desired set of supported browsers).
The desired set of supported browsers will always come down to metrics.
Essentially, both companies have done anti-privacy and untrustworthy actions, and choosing the lesser evil is hardly ideal.
The 8,3% (or 9,52%, or whatever) of Firefox users is way, way beyond total Skype users. Firefox has about ~170M users, Skype 4,5M.
Yes, you do. It might be a very, very small number, so small that you decide not to care about it, but you definitely lose people.
The tricky part is that most companies have no idea how many people they lose and why. It's just marketeers guessing and anecdotal evidence. The number is probably bigger than they think, because generally speaking, marketeers are not the type of persons that about browsers.
This is especially insidious since so many companies are already locked into the MS ecosystem, users have no choice but to use edge or chrome and IT departments will start wondering why they would bother allowing the use of Firefox at all.
Unfortunately, I've tried browsing with no UA header, and a surprisingly large number of sites --- even ones without any sort of "app functionality" --- will return strange errors.
UPDATE: the idea below of Safari not updating it's UA seems to be a good way to move this forward.
Tracking. Safari actually stopped updating its user agent for this reason.
While chat will probably work, as it doesn't have anything browser-specific, I am not sure video/audio calls will be reliable. Even if they work now, that flow is no longer tested or fixed if it breaks on Firefox. The downloadable video/audio plugin on Windows and Mac, supporting Firefox is the expensive part that the team likely stopped supporting.
Because what we are seeing certainly seems malicious - the idea that it can work by changing the user header looked, at least to me, as a swipe to Firefox, but instead, you're explaining that you simply couldn't guarantee support.
Now, it would be cool if you could simply just state that on the page, instead of simply saying it won't work - but I do understand the desire to not present something with potential issues to the general public.
Thanks for taking the time, here.
Having worked at Microsoft though, if your team cannot guarantee that a feature works on a browser that uses some non-standard things, is a decision that product will make on how to proceed. Display a warning or just don't support? Perhaps there might be security issues in the future the company wants to avoid this way, knowing they could not patch it? And so on.
Beyond speculation, I don't have much more to offer.
The best part is that the default Waterfox user-agent begins with an unmodified copy of the Firefox one (which is allowed), with " Waterfox/X.Y." appended to it.
(j/k - I do remember the years where it was actually alright, before it became the plague on the dev community it evolved into)
(And yeah, compared with Netscape 4, IE6 was great!)
There is an extension, that will change the UA only for Skype: https://addons.mozilla.org/pl/firefox/addon/firefox-web-skyp...
user_pref("general.useragent.override.web.skype.com", "Mozilla/5.0 (Linux) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/70.0.3538.77 Safari/537.36");
People will stop at the slightest uncertainty. I bet if there was a one-click to install firefox with ad-blocker and some other stuff enabled by default people would start switching.
Installing, extensions, configuration, those are sysadmin function, not stuff Joe public wants to do no matter how easy the developers think they are.
Check out Brave, been getting my friends to switch as it has a built in blocker that is even more verbose than ublock. Works on mobile as well which helps them save data and load websites faster.
I don't understand this sentence. What does "more verbose" mean?
This happens in the background as you are browsing and it isn't like an ad that pops up or a video you have to watch. They don't interrupt your browsing experience is what I am getting at if you do opt in.
>If your employer administers your device they might also keep track of what you do with it. Using Private windows, even with Tor, probably won't stop them from knowing which sites you've visited. Someone else with access to your device could also have installed software which monitors your activity, and Brave can’t protect you from this either.
They have a private window, or you can open up a tor private window by hitting shift+alt+N for a new tab with tor.
Info on what their Tor actually does.
Screenshot for posterity.
If you don't like Chrome/Edge, then switch to Firefox. Open standards give you have that freedom.
Unless, of course, you can't switch to Firefox because the set of people you need to work with are communicating using proprietary protocols, eg. Skype. Or developing software you need that only works on proprietary operating systems. Now you're locked in.
User apathy and developer laziness produces this self-reinforcing circle of platform lock-in.
Even the arguments and counter-arguments are the same as 20 years ago. Users don't really have a choice anymore, they are quite often being manipulated (forced) to install Chrome.
Just browse the web with Firefox and go to Google sites.
IE was overtaken by FF at a time when there was less complexity in browsers and MS wasn't really into the sort of feature-racing that's happening today; Google has already achieved an effective monopoly-by-complexity with its control over web standards and constant churn and feature addition under that "push the web forward" excuse. It has used its resources to make a moving target and keep it moving, making it impossible for others to even try to catch up. MS tried with Edge and gave up.
I really don't like this, because unless the population manages to change its viewpoint completely and think "better" is not "bigger", I highly doubt Chrome will ever "stagnate".
I agree with your post except for the bit quoted above. At that time Microsoft had already won the browser war and was then using that to lock people into Windows via ActiveX controls and such like. So there was feature-racing -- of sorts. It's just those features all lived outside of the web browser engine
Meaning "Chrome only" is the strategy here (since Edge, mshtml.dll, as unique rendering engine will disappear).
Welcome back to the past - have seen this all before in the late 90s.
I see a lot of "Request to access cookies or storage on https://www.linkedin.com/ was blocked because of custom cookie permission." in console.
However, my Preferences > Content Blocking is set to "Standard"; no add-ons are enabled; not a private window. I have DNS-over-HTTPS enabled. There are no linkedin-related entries in about:config.
No idea what they're doing but it's terrible.
They also do not provide a standalone app for Linux, despite the fact it's an Electron app, yet here is the standalone client supported by one individual that works perfectly.
It really makes you think!
For each browser, we had to add support in our standalone plugin, that was (and still is) required to install for audio/video calls. There was a small maintenance cost per browser, which was a bigger one whenever changes to the plug-in were made.
I left Skype/Microsoft a long time ago and Microsoft announced in March they will drop support for Firefox. I can only speculate, but it’s likely due to not wanting to pay the maintenance cost of this product on an ongoing basis.
Not directly related story from building Skype for Web: a big internal battle those days was us vs the Edge team. We wanted Edge to ship the Skype plugin as default, making calls seamless for Edge users, not needing to install a plugin (we saw large drops in adoption due to this plugin). Chrome already did exactly this with Hangouts back in the day and we saw it as them eating our lunch.
This was at the time of Steve Balmer’s Microsoft, where collaboration between different orgs was difficult and facing strong political headwind. We got nowhere with the Edge team, who wanted no dependencies and prioritised performance above anything like this - and also wanted to hit their own KPIs, which had nothing to do with Skype users preferring to use Edge.
We reasoned, pleaded, argued, steamed, shouted names and even used the "C" argument ("but... but... but... even Chrome does it!"). No avail. So a separate plugin install it was, giving people zero incentive to use a Microsoft browser for a Microsoft product. The Edge team were pleased they did not have to cater for another dependency and their roadmap remained unchanged. We were frustrated and had little doubt which brodwser will keep gaining market share - being certain it will not be IE/Edge.
Other not directly related story: a few years ago I wrote in detail my take on why Skype failed, here on HN. Read it on this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10927600
The Edge team made the right decision though from this user's perspective.
I want a browser, not a Microsoft utility dashboard.
Another vote against bloat here I'm afraid.
We just had a similar article related to this kind of bloatware yesterday . When you’re in a big company and your job performance is measured by something like “number of installs,” well by golly, you’re going to advocate for anything that juices that install rate. When you’re measured by “number of daily active users” you’re going to use notifications and spam to beg users to use it. And in the extreme case of your project being ignored by users and you need to justify it’s very existence, you’re going to pull out all the tricks and dark patterns you know, in order to force people to have/use it.
It’s a shame that success in software tends to me measured with these vanity metrics. It’s a big reason we have so much unwanted software that gets bundled with wanted software, and why so many apps beg you to use them.
Edge was in a weird position where it somehow looked fast but felt sluggish. A real shame it didn't work out though.
The most annoying part for me was updates. They supposedly created Edge as a browser decoupled from the OS unlike Internet Explorer. They claimed that with Edge, they would be able to iterate quickly with regular updates - like Chrome.
Yet, for 4 years, updating edge required a major OS update AFAIK.
Wait Chrome doesn't need it right? I think the issue here is a codec no?
There's even people that have hangouts working in pidgin because it just uses webrtc.
I was trying to debug potential webrtc issues with skype web for pidgin.
It's one thing to say we wanted to do this and that but I don't see you guys reaching out to browsers upstream at all to work on a solution that doesn't need a plug-in.
Personally nowadays I just recommend everyone not to use Skype and many of my friends do the same despite being what we all used to use first.
After they broke that, I went back to the normal skype.
I stopped using Skype because it framed me and my pals as assholes. I'd send messages and it wouldn't deliver but make me think it did. I'd then think the other person was ignoring me.
It'd say I'm online with both my PC and phone disconnected from the internet. So people would chat me up and I'd not reply for hours or days. And I'd have to start explaining and giving live demos to prove that Skype's playing tricks.
I'd send a message but the recipient will see "your client version cannot handle this message" or some other cryptic message.
I feel like Facebook paid Skype to intentionally frustrate from their service. They keep working hard to push users away.
Along with Gchat it's just one of the ultimate digital product failures of our time. What should have been miles ahead of any competitor and cornered the market, instead became something users vehemently hated.
So we kicked off the same effort before Microsoft bought Skype. The effort them took a LOT longer due to the merger. It finished a few years after the acquisition. Without MS acquiring, we would have gotten it done much faster.
Somehow the internet got this idea “Skype is going centralised to allow wiretapping, because of Microsoft”. We did it as we were fighting to be functional/somewhat reliable, with (chat) messaging becoming so big. I have a longer version in a comment from a few years ago.
Having ZERO trust to Microsoft's ethics, and with the dark history of leaving things unpatched for 3-letter agencies to go berserk, it makes that theory semi-valid. I am sure that Microsoft will neither xobrifm, nor deny this allegation ;)
Edit: every time I see something massive breaking in the news about system vulnerabilities that existed 2-5-10 years, it makes me think that NSA/CIA/USA lost control of the tool/vulnerability, and they run to patch before other state agents get the chance to equally abuse that.
Is this true? What kind of plugin are we talking about? I believe both Chrome and Firefox deprecated NPAPI, with only Firefox still supporting the Flash NPAPI plugin for a year or so? Is this a pepper plugin?
I'm not sure if MS is actually planning to replace Skype with anything or to just keep it around until nobody uses it anymore but all the recent updates felt rather half-hearted. It's still used for video calls in the consumer space apparently but I would guess that's an aging demographic as most kids and young adults seem to be using various mobile apps instead.
Have they fixed their absolutely horrid web client?
The only way to do that is to buy a Mac. That's why a lot of sites don't support it.
Also 50% of the US mobile browser market. (Don’t forget iPhone and iPad.)
This is a bs excuse.
The only really hard one to test with is IE11, simply because the dev tools are so incredibly slow on a web app.
History repeating itself.
Hint: Your OS shouldn't do this. It should stay out of your way and honour your choices.
// Adjusts the position of the given element
function(element, xPosition, yPosition, offset)
// If the element is set
var contentWindow = WebDeveloper.Common.getContentWindow();
var innerHeight = contentWindow.innerHeight;
var innerWidth = contentWindow.innerWidth;
var offsetHeight = element.offsetHeight;
var offsetWidth = element.offsetWidth;
var offsetX = contentWindow.pageXOffset;
var offsetY = contentWindow.pageYOffset;
// If the x position is less than 0
if(xPosition < 0)
xPosition = 0;
// If the y position is less than 0
if(yPosition < 0)
yPosition = 0;
// If the element will fit at the x position
if(xPosition + offsetWidth + offset + 5 < innerWidth + offsetX)
element.style.left = xPosition + offset + "px";
element.style.left = innerWidth + offsetX - offsetWidth - offset + "px";
// If it fits, put it there. If not, align to the right side
// If the x position is less than 0
if(xPosition < 0)
Also this has to be taken into account with syntax highlighting where comments are made to stand out. It doesn't work that much when comments use a faded out color (like some schemes use) or without syntax highlighting at all (well, except perhaps if you use ====== ALL CAPS COMMENTS ====== :-P).