[Linux-aus] Browser/OS checks - smarthinking.com

Arjen Lentz arjen at lentz.com.au
Mon Aug 27 15:48:40 EST 2012

Hi all

One of the joys of being a (parttime) student (through OUA) is that I get to work with the various online systems of different universities (since units in a course are not all from the same uni).
For this term, one of the external services is provided by smarthinking.com

When doing a clickthrough from the OUA active units page, smarthinking does a check on my browser agent and decides that I'm using the wrong operating system. It says it only supports Windows and Mac. Not easily deterred, I use the appropriate Firefox plugin to tweak my browser agent id, and get to work with the site just fine.
It appears the check they do is nothing but a crude and inaccurate mechanism to figure out some capabilities - or perhaps more likely, potential inadequacies of the web app that's behind it.

So, with that rant and baseline behind us, how to get this changed.

One of my thoughts is an indirect approach that might work: wouldn't online resources of Australian universities have to comply with federal guidelines on accessibility (even when using an external service provider). Exactly on how to play that card I haven't figured out, so ideas welcome! Also other angles and thoughts.


Exec.Director @ Open Query (http://openquery.com) MySQL services
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Personal blog at http://lentz.com.au/blog/

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