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Proposals for explaining language negotiation on the site

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2009 08:30:40 -0000
To: <public-i18n-core@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003501c99eff$005aa780$010ff680$@org>

To make it clearer to people how language negotiation affects their experience on the i18n site, I'd like to propose two things.

[1] links from the home page to set language, and an explanatory page

[2] an article about how we do content neg here


I'd like to add a list of language links (like that at http://www.org/International/articlelist) to the home page (directly below the expandable text on the orange background) with a lead-in sentence saying "Select which language to use on this site:"

When a reader clicks on one of the languages, they would be taken to a short page containing the following text (initial draft):

Choosing a language

By clicking on the link that brought you to this page you set a cookie on your client (assuming that you have cookies enabled).  The cookie simply contains an identifier for the language you chose. Now, as you continue to browse the i18n sub-site you will be presented with articles in that language whenever they are available, regardless of your browser settings (see below).  Only the following links allow you to change the cookie:

	1. The links to translations on the home page, this page, or the page that [lists all articles]
	2. Links to translations at the top right of a page for which translations are available. (Every page always contains links to all available language versions of that page.)

Not all pages on the site are translated. If no translation is available for a given page in the language you chose (or you disable cookies), the server will look at the [language preferences set in your browser], and serve to you a translation corresponding to those settings, if one is available.

If the server still cannot find a suitable translation, you will get the English original.

You can also view a page in another language (where available) by specifying the language in the uri (eg. filename.fr for a French page).  This will not affect your cookie settings.

For an explanation of why we use this approach, see [Content Negotiation on the W3C I18n Site].

Otherwise, [return to the i18n Activity home page].

This does two things: it explains why and how we are using cookies, and it explains how the sticky content negotiation works.

I would put out a call for this text to be translated in all the languages we currently have on site, and include it in the standard boilerplate text to be translated when a new language is added to the site.


I have produced an initial draft of a new article at http://www.w3.org/International/wiki/I18nsite_contentneg 

Please send comments about that.


PS: I also have in mind a plan to write a short article about content negotiation using type-maps, and the differences to multiviews, to complement the article at http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-apache-lang-neg 

Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

Received on Saturday, 7 March 2009 08:30:47 UTC

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