And behold, then came a new web browser known as “Mozilla”, being short for “Mosaic Killer,” but Mosaic was not amused, so the public name was changed to Netscape, and Netscape called itself Mozilla/1.0 (Win3.1), and there was more rejoicing. And Netscape supported frames, and frames became popular among the people, but Mosaic did not support frames, and so came “user agent sniffing” and to “Mozilla” webmasters sent frames, but to other browsers they sent not frames.
Of course its a lot worse now. My current browser says the following :
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6) AppleWebKit/604.5.6 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.0.3 Safari/604.5.6
For this unfamiliar, this is a line of text a web browser sends to a website to identify itself, what software it is, and what version etc. Except that for compatibility, they all lie a bit to try to get the best web pages possible.
Browser sniffing has, for a long time, not been considered the right way to assess capabilities, and its utterly unreliable. Somewhere I once saw it referred to as the biggest lie in software. The best practice is to use feature detection, and try to use graceful degradation.
I do find it funny though that browsers essentially repeat the whole history of internet web browsers with them, attaching the various bits of web history till eventually, some tech people will wonder what Mozilla at the beginning of the browser string really means.