Forum rejecting my User Agent

Don’t know how much control we have over the forum software, or who to pass this on to, but worth sharing.

Haven’t been on here in a while because the forum blocks my preferred user agent. Tried presenting my system as a few different user agents, but didn’t find any settings it liked.

Unfortunately, your browser is unsupported. Please switch to a supported browser to view rich content, log in and reply.

Frustrating. Ideally a website supports the protocol from its end, and the user agent supports that protocol from the other end. It’s not the job of the website to worry about which browser are or aren’t supported. Make it look nice on the browsers you care about, and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves, but don’t block us.

I run the chromium based qutebrowser, which can probably run anything chrome can just fine if sites wouldn’t block it. Other browsers lack the quality of accessibility features I use.

Fortunately, despite blocking accessible browsers, the DT forums have better accessibility shortcuts than most of the modern web, so its not critical. I just have to use a clunky second browser and redundantly learn an extra set of keyboard shortcuts, or use my less preferred accessibility software.


Which browsers have you used that are being rejected?

Are you able to customize the user agent reported by those browsers?

I got what you’re saying about protocol, but this is not a protocol problem. The protocol is http… getting data from server to browser. That’s what the web server is sending and that’s what your browser is accepting.

The problem is the application layer. Forum software has some specific features built in that require specific support in the rendering engine of the browser. This has nothing to do with the protocol which moves data from server to client, it has everything to do with the ability to process that data once received in a way that makes the forum usable. This has been the bane of developers for a long time, though with HTML 5 things have been improving along these lines. There are still several incompatibilities etc. that plague specific browsers when it comes to certain applications.

My hunch is that whatever unsupported browsers you are using can be configured to report a different user agent, or a plug-in would be available that would allow you to do that. I don’t see any specific settings within discourse forum software that lets me specifically allow or deny user agents. I could be wrong, but it appears to be a specific hard coded requirement.

1 Like

Yes, I’m able to control what user agent info I report. Browser, version, OS info, webkit and version, qt key and version, upstream browser key and version, etc. So far, I haven’t yet found any combination that it likes.

Probably is hard coded to block user agents that aren’t on their list. I wish sites would just deliver the data, and if the scripts breaks on the client end then fine, that responsibility is on the client end. But if they block my user agent, then I don’t even get to try to render it.

Well, I’ll keep fiddling with the user agent data I send and see if I find anything. Thank you.

Find a browser that works like chrome or whatever and Google it :slight_smile:

That’s convenient. I’ll research what the browsers supported by Discourse send and see if mine is able to match any of them. Thank you.

hmm, I didn’t have any issues with the site using a freshly downloaded qutebrowser (v3.1.0, Windows Standalone).

I didn’t change the user agent at all, just opened a new tab, entered the forum URL, and logged in.

Maybe try resting your user agent to the default?

Thanks for mentioning the browser. I’ve been looking for a open-source browser with keyboard navigation.

1 Like