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Re: A broken browser

From: Martin J. Duerst <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 19:48:22 +0100 (MET)
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.95.970108192739.245u-100000@enoshima>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/2265
On Fri, 3 Jan 1997, Rob Hartill wrote:

> There are lots of broken/misconfigured browsers out there. Some browsers
> give users the impression that the order in which they list langauges is
> important and others give the impression that "en-gb" and "en-us" are
> reasonable substitutes for "en". It's a mess when people have something like
> Accept-Language: en-us de
> Unless Apache has a "en-us" variant I get mail from people asking why they
> get German pages even though they set English first. As some people have
> said to me "I know a little German so I added it after my American English
> preference."

In this case, the mess is most probably not with the browsers,
but further up. RFC1766 defines language tags as independent entities,
with syntactic structure using "-", but without hierarchy. This may
make sense in some case, but not in others. For HTML language tagging
(the LANG attribute), we explicitly overruled this (see RFC2070).
For HTTP, using a similar overruling would make sense. This would
mean that a server would check for "en-us", and if not found, for "en".

> For Apache servers, MSIE 3.0 can be a nightmare. It sets the "Accept-Language"
> based on a Windows local setting. The user doesn't know this has happened
> and has no way to override it from the browser.

Bad software design :-(. Caring for the user is a good thing, but not
allowing the user to care for him/herself is not a good thing. They
should fix it, we shouldn't fix the servers for them.

Regards,	Martin.
Received on Wednesday, 8 January 1997 10:50:25 UTC

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