whichbrowser/whichbrowser

User agent sniffing gone too far

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Language: PHP

v1.0.1025 2015-08-02 14:30 UTC

README

Everybody lies — House M.D.

This is an extremely complicated and almost completely useless browser sniffing library. Useless because you shouldn't use browser sniffing. So stop right now and go read something about feature detecting instead. I'm serious. Go away. You'll thank me later.

But why almost completely useless and not completely useless?
Well, there is always an exception to the rule. There is one valid reason to do browser sniffing: to gather intelligence about which browsers are used on your website. My website is html5test.com and I wanted to know which score belongs to which browser. And to do that you need a browser sniffing library.

Why is it extremely complicated?
Because everybody lies. Seriously, there is not a single browser that is completely truthful. Almost all browsers say they are Netscape 5 and almost all WebKit browsers say they are based on Gecko. Even Internet Explorer 11 now no longer claims to be IE at all, but instead an unnamed browser that is like Gecko. And it gets worse. That is why it is complicated.

The main part of this library runs on the server and looks at the headers send by the browser, but it also collects various data from the browser itself. The first thing it looks at is the user-agent header, but there are many more headers that contain clues about the identity of the browser. Once the server finds the identity of the browser, it then looks at the data from the browser itself and check some additional characteristics and tries to determine if the headers where perhaps lying. It then gives you the result.

What kind of information does it give? You get a nice JavaScript object which has information about the browser, rendering engine, os and device. It gives you names and versions and even device manufacturer and model. And WhichBrowser is pretty tenacious. It gives you info that others don't. For example:

JUC (Linux; U; 2.3.6; zh-cn; GT-I8150; 480*800) UCWEB8.7.4.225/145/800  
UC Browser 8.7 on a Samsung Galaxy W running Android 2.3.6

Android is never mentioned

Mozilla/5.0 (Series40; Nokia501/10.0.2; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1) Gecko/20100401 S40OviBrowser/3.0.0.0.73  
Nokia Xpress 3.0.0 on a Nokia Asha 501 running Nokia Asha Platform

Despite the useragent header claiming to be a Series40 device, we know it's actually running the Asha Platform and we also know that OviBrowser has been renamed to Nokia Xpress.

Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux zvav; U; zh) Presto/2.8.119 Version/11.10  
Opera Mini on a Nokia 5230 running Series60 5.0

The useragent header looks like Opera 11.10 on Linux, but we know it's Opera Mini. We can even figure out the real operating system and device model from other headers.

Requirements

The server should be able to handle PHP and included is a .htaccess file that instructs the server to use detect.js as an alias for detect.php. This is not required, but if your server does not support .htaccess files you may want to find a way to make your server do the same. Alternatively you could use the detect.php directly.

How to install it

Place the files in a directory on your server. The easiest way to install is to download the files as a zip archive from Github and place them in a directory called whichbrowser on your server. However, this is not ideal for keeping WhichBrowser up-to-date.

Using Git

It is recommended to use git directly on the server to make sure you get the latest changes and to make it easier to keep WhichBrowser updated.

Go to the root directory of your site and run the following command:

git clone https://github.com/WhichBrowser/WhichBrowser.git whichbrowser

This will create a new directory called whichbrowser and install the latest version of WhichBrowser. If you want to update WhichBrowser to the latest version you can simply run the following command from the whichbrowser directory:

git pull

Given that WhichBrowser is updated regularly - sometimes even multiple times a day - you should run this command as often as possible. You might even want to consider setting up a cron job for this purpose.

Using Composer

As an alternative we also offer a Composer package called whichbrowser/whichbrowser.

php composer.phar require whichbrowser/whichbrowser dev-master

And just like the Git method, you can easily update WhichBrowser by running a simple command.

php composer.phar update

You should run this command as often as possible. You might even want to consider setting up a cron job for this purpose.

After installing with Composer you may need to create a symlink to the vendor directory in which WhichBrowser was installed:

ln -s vendor/whichbrowser/whichbrowser whichbrowser

Or create a .htaccess file in the root of your site and add an Alias command:

Alias /whichbrowser vendor/whichbrowser/whichbrowser

Using Bower

Finally we also offer a Bower package called whichbrowser.

bower install whichbrowser

And just like the Git and Composer method, you can easily update WhichBrowser by running a simple command.

bower update

You should run this command as often as possible. You might even want to consider setting up a cron job for this purpose.

After installing with Bower you may need to create a symlink to the component directory in which WhichBrowser was installed:

ln -s bower_components/whichbrowser whichbrowser

Or create a .htaccess file in the root of your site and add an Alias command:

Alias /whichbrowser bower_components/whichbrowser

How to use it

The first step is to place a snippet of code on you webpage.

<script>
    (function(){var p=[],w=window,d=document,e=f=0;p.push('ua='+encodeURIComponent(navigator.userAgent));e|=w.ActiveXObject?1:0;e|=w.opera?2:0;e|=w.chrome?4:0;
    e|='getBoxObjectFor' in d || 'mozInnerScreenX' in w?8:0;e|=('WebKitCSSMatrix' in w||'WebKitPoint' in w||'webkitStorageInfo' in w||'webkitURL' in w)?16:0;
    e|=(e&16&&({}.toString).toString().indexOf("\n")===-1)?32:0;p.push('e='+e);f|='sandbox' in d.createElement('iframe')?1:0;f|='WebSocket' in w?2:0;
    f|=w.Worker?4:0;f|=w.applicationCache?8:0;f|=w.history && history.pushState?16:0;f|=d.documentElement.webkitRequestFullScreen?32:0;f|='FileReader' in w?64:0;
    p.push('f='+f);p.push('r='+Math.random().toString(36).substring(7));p.push('w='+screen.width);p.push('h='+screen.height);var s=d.createElement('script');
    s.src='//yourserver/whichbrowser/detect.js?' + p.join('&');d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(s);})();
</script>

Please make sure you change the URL of the detect.js file to point it to your own server.

To get the exact snippet you need to include visit the directory in which you installed WhichBrowser in your browser.

The second step is to create a new WhichBrowser object. This object will contain all the information the library could find about your browser.

For example:

Browsers = new WhichBrowser();

The variable Browsers now contains an object which you can query for information. There are various ways to access the information.

First of all, you can treat the object as a string to get a human readable identification:

"You are using " + Browsers
// You are using Chrome 27 on Mac OS X 10.8.4

If you need to, you can also explicitly typecast the object to a string

String(Browsers)
Browsers.toString()

Or you can turn the object into JSON:

JSON.stringify(Browsers)
// { "browser": {"name":"Chrome","version":{"value":"27"...

Another possiblity is to query the object:

Browsers.isType('desktop')
// true

Browsers.isType('mobile', 'tablet', 'media')  
// false

Browsers.isBrowser('Maxthon', '<', '4.0.5')  
// false

Browsers.isOs('iOS', '>=', '5')
// false

Browsers.isEngine('Blink')
// true

You can also access these properties directly:

Browsers.browser
// Chrome 27  

Browsers.engine
// Blink

Browsers.os
// Mac OS X 10.8.4

Or access parts of these properties directly:

Browsers.browser.name
// Chrome

Browsers.browser.name + ' ' + String(Browsers.browser.version)
// Chrome 27

Browsers.browser.version.major
// 27

Browsers.browser.version.minor
// 0

Browsers.browser.version.original
// 27.0.1453.110

Browsers.engine.name
// Blink

Finally you can also query versions directly:

Browsers.browser.version.is('>', 26)
// true

Browsers.os.version.is('<', '10.7.4')
// false

API reference

The WhichBrowser object

After a new WhichBrowser object is created, it contains a number of properties and functions. All of these properties are guaranteed to be present.

Properties:

  • browser
    an object that contains information about the browser itself
  • engine
    an object that contains information about the rendering engine
  • os
    an object that contains information about the operating system
  • device
    an object that contains information about the device

Functions:

isType(type [,type [,type [,type]]])
If a single argument is used, the function returns true if the argument matches the type propery of device obejct. It can use multiple arguments in which case the function returns true if one of the arguments matches. If none of the arguments matches, it returns false

isBrowser(name [, comparison, version])
Is used to query the name and version property of the browser object. The funcion can contain a single argument to a simple comparison based on name, or three arguments to compare both name and version. The first argument always contains the name of the browser. The second arguments is a string that can container either <, <=, =, => or >. The third is an integer, float or string that contains the version. You can use versions like 10, 10.7 or '10.7.4'. For more information about how version comparisons are performed, please see the is() function of the Version object.

isEngine(name [, comparison, version])
Is used to query the name and version property of the engine object. This function works in exactly the same way as isBrowser.

isOs(name [, comparison, version])
Is used to query the name and version property of the os object. This function works in exactly the same way as isBrowser.

The browser object

The Browser object is used for the browser property of the main WhichBrowser object and contains a number of properties. If a property is not applicable in this situation it will be null.

Properties:

  • name
    a string containing the name of the browser
  • version
    a version object containing information about the version of the browser
  • stock
    a boolean, true if the browser is the default browser of the operating system, false otherwise
  • channel
    a string containing the distribution channel, ie. 'Nightly' or 'Next'.
  • mode
    a string that can contain the operating mode of the browser, ie. 'proxy'.
  • hidden
    a boolean that is true if the browser does not have a name and is the default of the operating system.

The engine object

The Engine object is used for the engine property of the main WhichBrowser object and contains a number of properties. If a property is not applicable in this situation it will be null.

Properties:

  • name
    a string containing the name of the rendering engine
  • version
    a version object containing information about the version of the rendering engine

The os object

The Os object is used for the os property of the main WhichBrowser object and contains a number of properties. If a property is not applicable in this situation it will be null.

Properties:

  • name
    a string containing the name of the operating system
  • version
    a version object containing information about the version of the operating system

The device object

The Device object is used for the device property of the main WhichBrowser object and contains a number of properties. If a property is not applicable in this situation it will be null.

Properties:

  • type
    a string containing the type of the browser.
  • identified
    a boolean that is true if the device has been positively identified.
  • manufacturer
    a string containing the manufacturer of the device, ie. 'Apple' or 'Samsung'.
  • model
    as string containing the model of the device, ie. 'iPhone' or 'Galaxy S4'.

The type property can contain any value from the following list:

  • desktop
  • mobile
  • tablet
  • gaming
  • headset
  • ereader
  • media
  • emulator
  • television
  • monitor
  • camera
  • signage
  • whiteboard
  • car
  • pos
  • bot

The version object

The Version object is used for the version property of the browser, engine and os object and contains a number of properties and functions. If a property is not applicable in this situation it will be null.

Properties:

  • original
    a string containing the original version number.
  • alias
    a string containing an alias for the version number, ie. 'XP' for Windows '5.1'.
  • details
    an integer containing the number of digits of the version number that should be printed.
  • major
    an integer containing the major version number.
  • minor
    an integer containing the minor version number.
  • type
    a string containing a type indicator, ie. 'beta' or 'alpha'.

Functions:

is(version) or is(comparison, version)
Using this function it is easy to compare a version to another version. If you specify only one argument, this function will return if the versions are the same. You can also specify two arguments, in that case the first argument contains the comparison operator, such as <, <=, =, => or >. The second argument is the version you want to compare it to. You can use versions like 10, 10.7 or '10.7.4', but be aware that 10 is not the same as 10.0. For example if our OS version is 10.7.4:

Browser.os.version.is('10.7.4')  
// true

Browser.os.version.is('10.7')  
// true

Browser.os.version.is('10')  
// true

Browser.os.version.is('10.0')
// false

Browser.os.version.is('>', '10')
// false

Browser.os.version.is('>', '10.7')
// false

Browser.os.version.is('>', '10.7.3')
// true

License

Copyright (c) 2014 Niels Leenheer

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.