Hey Yuvi,

As a checkuser, user agents are an important part of my workflow for identifying that multiple accounts are owned by the same person. So I'm going to have to argue for including more information in the user agent. Your proposed user agent would basically mean that every single person using the most up-to-date version of the app on a particular platform would be indistinguishable from each other. This would, unfortunately, lead to lots of innocent users getting blocked as sockpuppets.

Here's an example of a user agent from an iPhone using Safari: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; zh-tw) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5

Look at all of that wonderful information! ;-) In general, the more information you can include without breaching the user's privacy, the better.

I'd be happy to work with you on this.


P.S. You may also want to consult with the legal team, to ensure that an unacceptable levels of private information are not given out. They would also make a complement for me; I would likely be pulling in the direction of "MOAR INFORMATION!", whereas they would likely be pulling in the direction of "LESS INFORMATION!". :-)

On 26 March 2014 15:00, Yuvi Panda <yuvipanda@gmail.com> wrote:
Add Analytics to cc, as I think they'll be interested as well :)

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:20 AM, Yuvi Panda <yuvipanda@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello!
> We are getting closer to a general release of the Wikipedia Android
> and iOS apps, and I think we should standardize on a User-Agent
> format. The old app just appended an identifier in front of the
> phone's default UA[1] but I think we can do better, to avoid privacy
> concerns[2].
> How about:
> WikipediaApp/<version> <OS>/<form-factor>/<version>
> This gives us all the info we need (App version, OS, Form Factor
> (Tablet / Phone) and OS version) without giving away too much. It is
> also fairly simple to construct and parse.
> For the latest alpha, my Nexus 4 would generate
> WikipediaApp/32 Android/Phone/4.4
> While an iOS device might generate
> WkipediaApp/2.0 iOS/Phone/7.1
> form-factor would just be Phone|Tablet for now, and can be expanded
> later if necessary.
> Thoughts?
> [1]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Mobile/User_agents#Apps
> [2]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/EventLogging/UserAgentSanitization
> --
> Yuvi Panda T
> http://yuvi.in/blog

Yuvi Panda T

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Dan Garry
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Wikimedia Foundation