It’s never really been quick or easy when I mine the data (which seems to be about once a year), but when I reassess the cheat-sheet I typically spend most of the time re-reminding myself of how to gather the info for the various browsers, all the while discovering new sources. Here is my high-level browser info excavating process:
- Get the info from the browser itself:
- Install it
- Look at the browser download site, FAQ, & Release Notes
- Look at the user-agent string at browserhawk.com
- Look at the installed assembly version numbers and text files
- Look at the Help/About section
- Look at comments in source control and source code (if available)
- Search the web
And on to a few lower-level details for a few of the most popular browsers:
- Rendering Engine: Trident being the name of the IE rendering engine, it was once believed that the version of Trident matched the the version of the MSHTML.dll found at C:\windows\System32\. But with IE 8.0, the IE team has a reference on their blog that rendering engine in 8.0 is Trident 4.0 which can now be found in the user-agent string. This version conflicts with prior data I had gathered but we’ll run with it. Hopefully, from here on out you can just gather the version from the user-agent string, only time will tell. Here is an example user-agent string for IE8: “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0;)
- Rendering Engine: Webkit is the rendering engine for Chrome. To get the rendering engine version, in the browser URL bar just type “About:”. The version will follow the “Webkit:” key. Notice that the User Agent contains the same Webkit number, hence the rendering engine version can be gathered from the User Agent string also.
- Rendering Engine: Firefox uses the Gecko rendering engine and the version number can be found in the user-agent string (can be seen by typing “about:” in the URL bar or going to Help->About in the menu). For example in the following string: “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:126.96.36.199) Gecko/2009042316 Firefox/3.0.10”, the “rv:188.8.131.52” is the version and the “2009042316” build number.
- Rendering Engine: Webkit is the rendering engine in Safari and the version can be found in the user-agent string. For example in the string: “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/528.17” the version number is 528.18. This can also be seen on the webkit.dll file property “Product Version” in Windows (\program files\safari\).
And there you have it, the method to my madness. If you have differing or better data please feel free to add it in a comment.