Mobileread
User Agents with Sunrise XP
#1  glam 07-20-2009, 07:56 PM
I use Sunrise XP to download websites for reading with Plucker on my Palm Tungsten T3.

Two sites that I download are http://mobile.nytimes.com/ and http://mobile.variety.com/ .

My problem is that these two sites respond best to different settings of User Agent (View-Preferences; Network tab).

http://mobile.nytimes.com/ does well with the default User Agent (Sunrise XP/2.0). All the other user agents that I've tried (including all those on the list that are built into Sunrise XP, as well as a few others) are less satisfactory. The main difference is that the New York Times responds to the other settings by breaking its articles down into multiple pages. This is less than ideal because it leads to problems of link depth, redundant content, etc.

In contrast, http://mobile.variety.com/ doesn't work with that User Agent. Sunrise XP is redirected to http://mobile.variety.com/device2/baduseragent.html, giving me no content. Other User Agents work OK with Variety, producing different sorts of results.

Unfortunately, Sunrise XP does not give me a way (so far as I can tell) to ask for different User Agents for different documents. I have to manually go into my Preferences page between updating documents.

(Plucker Desktop does allow specifying different User Agents for different documents. But Plucker Desktop doesn't seem to handle the NY Times; also, it is not as intelligent about proxy settings as Sunrise XP.)

Can anyone recommend a resolution here? Any User Agent strings that I could try that might work with both sites? Any recommended strategies for finding out how different sites respond to different User Agents (other than just trying them all)? Is there a way that I can tell Sunrise XP to use different User Agents for different documents?

#2  Laurens 09-21-2009, 04:51 PM
Sunrise XP doesn't allow you to use a variable user agent. I.e. there's one uber-setting for this, as you found out.

The only way to work around this might be using a proxy. I.e. one that intercepts HTTP requests and changes the user agent based on some destination URL. But that's quite advanced and I wouldn't know if there's actually a proxy that allows you easily configure such behaviour.

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