Closely related, but not a duplicate:
Warn users if they're submitting a bug with a beta browser

Quite frequently here on MSO, we have bug reports that must be clarified either in the comments or in an edit as to specifically which browser (os/version) the OP is using. Could it be of a benefit to the devs here if that information was auto-magically filled in to the end of a post when the user tagged a question ?

Something like the following:

It may not be that big of an issue, but considering that this information is pretty easy to get with the help of a bit of JS (for example, a bit of google searching turned up ua-parser.js).

Obviously, the OP could still remove the browser information if they think it isn't relevant, but it just might make it easier to track down those pesky bugs going forward.

  • 2
  • 1
    Not all bugs are browser related, in fact I suspect most aren't. In such cases, this would be adding additional irrelevant noise. I much prefer what's suggested in the question Tim's linked to, rather than adding browser info to all bug reports.
    – Mac
    Mar 26, 2013 at 20:57
  • What happens when someone files a bug report and doesn't use the bug tag, only to have someone else come by later and properly retag it as a bug?
    – Troyen
    Mar 26, 2013 at 21:02
  • @Mac It'd be interesting to see some statistics on that, because without some way of tracking those down it's all speculation. Mar 26, 2013 at 21:02
  • @Troyen nothing. It wouldn't make sense to do anything in that situation, as AFAIK, SO doesn't track the user-agents of posters. If they did, however, then they would simply add that information based on the data they already have. Mar 26, 2013 at 21:03
  • @Richard: if you want stats, I just went through the 50 newest MSO questions under the bug tag, and counted 9 that were clearly browser specific, 31 that were clearly not, and 10 that didn't fall in either category (not clearly one or the other, not actually a bug, no repro, etc). There's some room for judgement calls so your numbers might vary if you do the same, but I think there's still clearly far more non-browser specific bugs than browser-specific ones.
    – Mac
    Mar 26, 2013 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


My argument against would be that auto-fill in would be detrimental to someone who uses multiple browsers, or is filling out the question with his cellphone, it would be superfluous if the browser isn't causing the error, and it would be flat-out useless if the bug tag is added in by an edit.


  • I have MSO/SO open on my PC, and chat open on my android tablet. Encounter chat bug. Post question, then have to wait for page to load to edit question with my android info instead of the PC info. Then curse whoever implemented the auto-fill in.

  • MSO won't work at all on browser X or won't let me log in. Load up browser Y and post question. Crap. Edit delete, repost. Crap it keeps adding in browser info.

  • I remember to post my question away from home, and end up posting on a different platform.

  • Have multiple browsers open because program X wants to open firefox instead of launching default browser. Alt-Tab to nearest browser without checking and post question because there's an error that didn't show up immediately.

  • I would say it's even more useful when being filled out on the mobile version of SE, to make it easier to track down bugs there. Mar 26, 2013 at 20:44
  • I think you're scraping for edge cases here. Let's say that worst case scenario that 40% of all MSO bug reports come from a different browser than which they are found on. Wouldn't the 60% that do help solve the bugs be more than worth it? Mar 26, 2013 at 20:53
  • You haven't worked for support have you? 40 vs 60%? OMG, that would be a nightmare for the 40%. What if people aren't bothering to check the browser info for correctness after they post. That's hours of wasted time for the people trying to solve the bug. If people see that a question needs browser info, they ask the user to provide it. If the bug is proliferated, then the likelyhood that someone will respond who will provide info is high. If the bug is rare and only on the pc of the person who won't respond, who cares. Mar 26, 2013 at 20:56
  • I think you underestimate the types of people who post bugs here. I would say that 90% of them are semi-professional programmers, and will understand exactly what's going on if we pre-fill their browser information, and it's not the same as what they posted on. Mar 26, 2013 at 20:57
  • I think you underestimate people. How often do professional programmers get compiler errors for syntax mistakes. If they had to code in notepad and submit their code and then had to query a database manually for syntax errors and remote log in to debug, how many hours/days would go by with bugs in place because code didn't compile. Mar 26, 2013 at 20:59
  • 1
    It should be UI Standard. Never ever ever auto-fill in without notice. Always have a button/option/whatever to do it. Especially don't fill in after data is submitted. This leads to more clerical errors than is worth having. Mar 26, 2013 at 21:01
  • Did you even see the image in the OP? It clearly shows a pop-up that explains what is going on. Mar 26, 2013 at 21:04
  • I have pictures turned off. I see what you mean, but that's not helpful, because what if you're mid sentence, then add the tag real quick. What I meant was more along the lines of a popup that had a button to add info. So you hit tag, the popup comes up with a button, that when clicked, adds browser info to the bottom/top of the post. Mar 26, 2013 at 21:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .