SSI and User Agents

On the Ground Control website I wanted to make the download of ground control a little more picky about it’s default method of installation on the front page. While the download page contains all methods possible and I’m not too bothered about letting people pick and choose there, I did want to present the user with the best option by default.

So since I’m using SSI for this website (quick, dirty and supported on everything) I used a couple of conditional statements which check the Agent string and present one of the following options:

The Install Now link is actually and apt url which installs ground control from their repository, which is useful if your using lucid or if you already have the ppa installed, but a bit pointless for anyone else. So everyone else gets different links.

Obviously I’m aware that user agent strings are likely to be incorrect in certain ways, but I’m prepared to say that if your using a false user agent for all websites, then you should expect these kinds of things.

Your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “SSI and User Agents

  1. I just visited ground-control.org with Arora on Kubuntu and clicked “Download Now” and got:
    http://ground-control.org/downloads.html <– 404
    I think there's not supposed to be a "s" based on the link at the top of the page.

    I apparently need to file a bug for Arora not working with apturl too. I was looking with Arora because while I do /not/ spoof the User Agent on that browser, many websites seem to think it is Safari.

  2. Lucid, the download 1.6 button tries to direct to downloads.html rather than download.html?

  3. That’s nice, but what happens if i’m using “Anything else” for downloading and i want install it on my linux box with a broken ethernet card or just without network acces?

    Apart from that, it’s cool ^-^

  4. As long as the Not Available links to the same place as “Downlaod Now” or a tarball. I can’t stand it when sites require you to download for a particular OS from that OS. There are reasons why someone might want to download the packages from an OS other than Linux.

  5. The best thing to do when offering browser-specific downloads is to have a “All other operating systems” button underneath the detected browser link provided. I for example am using Windows at the moment because work forces me to. I may want to download the latest Ground Control while I’m on Windows to put on a USB stick so I have it ready to go when I’m home. That isn’t realistic for me per se (because I use the PPA) but someone who has dial-up might run into that problem.

    Martin’s SSI seems to do the job (Pidgin, Mozilla and others do it for example) so if you don’t like the link it gives you, just click the ‘Download’ button.

    Don’t you just love human interaction problems?

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