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Detector v0.8.0

Detector is a simple, PHP- and JavaScript-based browser- and feature-detection library that can adapt to new devices & browsers on its own without the need to pull from a central database of browser information.

Detector dynamically creates profiles using a browser's (mainly) unique user-agent string as a key. Using Modernizr it records the HTML5 & CSS3 features a requesting browser may or may not support. ua-parser-php is used to collect and record any useful information (like OS or device name) the user-agent string may contain.

With Detector a developer can serve the appropriate markup, stylesheets, and JavaScript to a requesting browser without being completely dependent on a front-end-only resource loader nor a browser-detection library being up-to-date.

The server-side portion of Detector is based upon modernizr-server by James Pearce (@jamespearce) and the browser-detection library ua-parser-php. Detector utilizes Modernizr for its client-side, feature-detection support.

Demo of Detector

A very simple demo of Detector is available for testing.

Features

The following features are as of v0.8.0 of Detector:

  • stores features detected with Modernizr 2.5.2 (list) and browser & device information detected with ua-parser-php (based on ua-parser) on the server as part of a browser profile for easy retrieval
  • uses the user agent string as a unique key for looking up information (e.g. one profile per user agent)
  • majority of tests are run only once per unique user agent string so only one user is ever tested & redirected
  • add your own feature tests and store the results using Modernizr's addTest() API
  • tests can be created that run once per user agent, once per session, or on every request
  • version your browser profiles so you can force them to be recreated after adding new tests
  • easily organize browsers into families based on a mix of supported features & device information
  • browser & bots that don't use JavaScript or cookies can still use your site using a default browser profile
  • provide default families for search engines and browsers that don't support javascript or cookies so your best side is always showing
  • give your mobile users a "desktop" view via family switching (assuming you use a templating system)
  • push feature information to the browser via CSS classes and/or a JavaScript object a la Modernizr
  • use with a templating system like Mustache to create a RESS system

Tutorials

More Information

Credits

First and foremost, thanks to James Pearce (@jamespearce) for putting together modernizr-server and giving me a great base to work from. I also took some of the copy from his README and used it in the section, "Adding Detector to Your Application." Also, thanks to the guys behind Modernizr for giving developers a great lib as well as the the ability to expand Modernizr via Modernizr.addTest(). Finally, thanks to Bryan Rieger (@bryanrieger) & Stephanie Rieger (@stephanierieger) of Yiibu and Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) for providing inspiration via Profile and RESS respectively.

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