Using object detection to sniff out different browsers
Since different browsers support different objects, you can use Object Detection as a quick though less than infallible way of detecting various browsers. For example, since only Opera supports the property "window.opera", you can use that to instantly separate an Opera browser from the herd. Here are a few sample test cases, and what they *imply* about the browser running it:
|document.getElementById||Firefox1+, IE5+, Opera7+, Safari, and most modern browsers in general.|
|window.getComputedStyle||Firefox1+ and Opera 8+, and Safari 2+|
|window.globalStorage && window.postMessage||Firefox3+|
|document.getElementsByClassName||Firefox3+ and Opera 9.5+, and Safari 3+|
|document.querySelector||Firefox3.5+, IE8+ (in standards compliant mode only), Opera9.5+, and Safari 3+|
|document.compatMode && document.all||IE6+|
|window.XMLHttpRequest||IE7+, Firefox1+, and Opera8+|
|window.XMLHttpRequest && document.all
document.documentElement && typeof document.documentElement.style.maxHeight!="undefined"
Note: First scheme will fail if visitor explicitly disables native xmlHTTPRequest support (under Toolbar-> Internet Options-> Advanced). The second one will not.
|document.documentMode||IE8+ (detects IE8 in a specific document mode,
such as standards complaint).
Because IE8 can render a page in various
different modes depending on the page's doctype plus the presence of
certain HTML elements,
This means that even though the user is using IE8 or IE9, for
example, if a webpage is missing a
|XDomainRequest && window.msPerformance||IE9+
|document.all && window.matchMedia||IE10+|
|typeof navigator.maxTouchPoints !="undefined"||IE11+
|window.opera||Opera (any version up until Opera 15).|
* Since Opera by default also identifies itself as IE (apart from Opera), with support for many of IE's proprietary objects, the IE detection schemes above will also return true for Opera. Use "window.opera" in combination to filter out Opera browsers.
It's important to mention that object detection's chief purpose is to help you detect within your script whether the browser supports a particular object/method/property before using it, not browser detection. As the later it may be convenient over probing the Navigator object, but is only as reliable as your understanding of which objects are supported in which browsers. In other words, it's not a 100% reliable way of sniffing out the user's browser. Having said that, the below uses object detection to test for IE7:
if (document.documentElement && typeof document.documentElement.style.maxHeight!="undefined") alert("You're using IE7")
The following detects a page running in IE8 standards compliant mode:
if (document.documentMode==8) alert("This page is running in IE8 standards mode!")
And the following filters out IE11+ browsers:
if (typeof navigator.maxTouchPoints !="undefined") alert("You are using IE11+, the best of the bunch!")
Again object detection is really about feature detection. It detects whether your browser supports the feature your script intends to use and manipulate. For the lazy, that will substitute for browser detection just fine!
- Tutorial Introduction
- Using object detection to detect support for a property or method
- Using object detection to sniff out different browsers