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Vary and Accept-Language

From: Andrew Daviel <andrew@vancouver-webpages.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 13:10:42 -0700 (PDT)
To: HTTP Working Group <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.3.91.960722114245.14502A-100000@vancouver-webpages.com>
In HTTP 1.1:
If the server sends Vary: Content-Language must it also
send a Content-Language header ?  (I would think so)

If the server has more than one language available, but the user agent 
does not send Accept-Language, need the server send 
Vary: Content-Language at all ? If it does, what is the 
action of a proxy server on getting a request for that URL without
an Accept-Language header ?

How about:

URI=index.var, server preferred language is English

User Agent sends        Server sends           Proxy Server caches
 -                       english.html          URI=index.var
                         Content-Language: en  Content=<english.html>
 
Accept-Language: en      english.html          URI=index.var
                         Content-Language: en  Content=<english.html>
                         Vary: Accept-Language Content-Language=en

Accept-Language: fr      french.html           URI=index.var
                         Content-Language: fr  Content=<french.html>
                         Vary: Accept-Language Content-Language=fr

This way, user agents who fail to set Accept-Language will
get the default, proxy caches will be used, and agents such as
robots will know the language of the default document.


Currently (Netscape, Apache, HTTPD 1.0) the ordering of languages
in Accept-Language indicates the user's desired weighting, but I
believe the ordering in Accept (type) is not significant. In 1.1,
does the ordering have any defined significance, or should people
use the qs scheme to indicate preference? 


(As regards my earlier question about robots, I don't think 
Vary: Accept Language is very useful on its own (for a robot), so 
I will have to wait for a definition of the Alternates header).

Andrew Daviel

andrew@vancouver-webpages.com 
http://vancouver-webpages.com  : home of searchBC
Received on Monday, 22 July 1996 13:18:45 EDT

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