User Agent Changes



  • @ruario Don't forget the philosophy: adapting to users' needs. (I didn't want to say this just to support my opinion, but that's maybe what I needed to…) It would help your users that want Vivaldi to identify self as Vivaldi (or — OK — Crivaldi) and not as Chrome. You don't have to plan it right now, but we plan it 🙃 (and if you don't restrict --user-agent and mods, we can do it).


  • Vivaldi Team

    @potmeklecbohdan Having a tiny minority, of a browser that is itself still relatively small, identify as Vivaldi will not succeed in fixing the fundamentally flawed problems with User Agents. All it will mean is that it is easier for you as user to be fingerprinted.


  • Vivaldi Team

    @Blackbird

    […] perhaps Vivaldi feels that isn't a battle worth fighting.

    It isn't. There are far more important things to worry about than user agents



  • Is it intentional that the --user-agent override switch is itself overridden? That doesn't matter to me now, and maybe to no one, but I mention it in case it's unintended.

    My mistake



  • @rseiler said in User Agent Changes:

    Is it intentional that the --user-agent override switch is itself overridden?

    Was just testing and it doesn't seem to be overridden to me. vivaldi.exe --user-agent=bla works for example. A string with Vivaldi/2.9.1705.41 in it works fine too and doesn't get stripped. I checked on multiple sites that detect your user agent and check navigator.userAgent in the console.

    For example:

    vivaldi.exe "--user-agent=Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/79.0.3945.94 Safari/537.36 Vivaldi/2.10.1745.18"
    

    works fine.



  • Your solution will make everyone's lives easier. Even so, please make this a setting. By default, it should identify as chrome. But we should have the option to identify as Vivaldi if we choose. We want Vivaldi to have as much statistical representation as possible. Many of us would gladly flip that switch.



  • @DannyRomano By Default it should not identify as Chrome. It's Vivaldi Browser and that stands for itself. Be proud of what you are able to use.



  • @kahukura I think it should be default for the same reason as this change happened — everything should work for users that don't know about this and everyone who knows about it can simply change the setting.



  • @Pesala Thank you for the tip on this! If the ability to choose a particular User Agent already exists, I don't know why the dev team just doesn't put this in the Settings panel somewhere. Then, we can easily manage this issue ourselves.



  • I really hate the monopoly world we live in. You deserve better place as an amazing browser..



  • @potmeklecbohdan I see your point as it makes sense for the majority of users. However there's still a little rugged defense in my mind that ceases to forget we have a a unique browser that stands up from the crowd.



  • personally i think this is a pretty decent change. i think it's pretty childish of websites to block vivaldi just because it's a small browser and a competitor. you wouldn't see this happening to firefox!

    i agree with some of the people in this thread saying that now is a probably good time to add user agent switching functionality to the settings, with defaults being the whitelisting that's being implemented. this allows new/inexperienced users to just use the browser without issue, but also gives power users a new setting to tweak without resorting to having another extension take up room on the top bar.

    regarding browser stats, a friend of mine on the fediverse suggested adding things like Google analytics and other stat counters to the default whitelist as well? not sure if it's possible to, but if so it sounds very reasonable to do if it is.

    thanks for the hard work, y'all!



  • Recently found out Opera (web browser) fakes being Chrome to Facebook via browserjs



  • So sad it is you to have to do such changes... But well, Unfair companies like MS pushes it too far. I'm so glad to see MS teams finally working with vivalding, throwing away the need to have an additional chromium eating memory... Thanks !
    ...I hope a way will be found to still be ranked apart from chromium in browser usage statistics, or that at least, website doing this kind of survey will show a disclaimer about the inacurracy of user-agent-based methods





  • @rseiler From that same ZDnet link: "UA strings in Chrome will be replaced with a new mechanism called Client Hints. Client Hints is a mechanism through which websites can request information about a user, but without "the historical baggage and passive fingerprinting surface exposed by the venerable User-Agent header," as the official standard reads."

    This will bear watching from a user privacy standpoint, depending on just what gets revealed in the Client Hints mechanism and how much of that ends up in generic chromium browsers. Knowing Google's credentials in the data marketing arena, IMO the caution flags will be flying until proven otherwise.



  • https://wicg.github.io/ua-client-hints/

    What is available via Client Hints:

    Brand (for example: "cURL", "Edge", "The World’s Best Web Browser")
    Major version (for example: "72", "3", or "28")
    Full version (for example: "72.0.3245.12", "3.14159", or "297.70E04154A")
    Platform brand and version (for example: "Windows NT 6.0", "iOS 15", or "AmazingOS 17G")
    Platform architecture (for example: "ARM64", or "ia32")
    Model (for example: "", or "Pixel 2 XL")
    Mobileness (for example: ?0 or ?1)

    As far as I can tell, this is enhanced browser fingerprinting. It helps Google target and deliver better (read: higher priced) advertising.


  • Moderator

    @btabke Yes. There isn't much of a need to include any of these. If we're getting rid of user agents, we might as well get rid of them entirely and not bother with implementing something new to replace it.

    Hint Reason we don't need it
    Brand Has been abused in the past - ditch it
    Version Only necessary on the browser owner's website, so they can prompt you for a new version. outside of that it just adds fingerprinting info
    Platform The only place its needed is if you're downloading software, and changing that for a list of a few hyperlinks is not a major difficulty. Many sites do that anyway already.
    Model ‽ I can't think of any need for this other than tracking how rich you are. If you needed a particular feature on a new model, just use feature detection instead
    Mobileness Sites should always be responsive, regardless of if they are mobile or not. This will just lead to pages being rendered as "use our app instead".


  • As these changes unfold in Chrome (and eventually filter down into other chromium browsers?), a lot will depend on how websites deal with Client Hint information. If they use it to restrict site access (as some now do with user agent strings), then we will be right back to where we presently are. It will also be interesting to see what, if any, options chromium browser developers (and extension makers) will have regarding the blanking or spoofing of Client Hint data to enhance user privacy. In any event, a lot of visiting system-fingerprint information can still be obtained by sites via JavaScripted queries regarding a visitor's system attributes... and users blocking JavaScript can be fatal to accessing those sites.



  • The first problem is going to be the massive number of websites that break. There is so much agent sniffing going on now to deliver mobile vs desktop content that I think websites are going to break is a lot fresh ways. The ones in active dev should be ok, but millions of mom-n-pop shops are going to be hurting.


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