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Re: [WAI-IG] Serving my page in the right language

From: David Dorward <david@us-lot.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 11:05:02 +0000
Message-Id: <C46785FD-7BF0-11D8-975F-000A957E4F00@us-lot.org>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

On 22 Mar 2004, at 10:25, Marjolein Katsma wrote:
> Just how do those people even find out there is such a thing as a 
> language preference?

If we use the language preferences sent by the user agent to select a 
default language (and present an obvious option on that page to select 
other languages):

* Users who know how to use their software get the language they want 
and do not have to find their language from the provided options.
- Benefit

* Users who don't know how to use configure their preference get a 
sensible default which would probably be their preference if they had 
actively chosen.
- Benefit

* Users who don't know how to change their preference AND for whom the 
default is suboptimal can select a different language from the 
aforementioned obvious option.
- Slight negative

* Users who don't know how to change their preference AND for whom the 
default is suboptimal AND who fail to noticed the obvious option can 
almost certainly cope with the default language anyway.
- Slight negative

* Users who don't know about the preference, fail to spot the option to 
change language, and can't cope with their default are likely to be a 
very tiny minority.
- Serious negative, but probably only affecting a number of people that 
tends towards zero.

If we ignore the language preferences sent by the user agent then *all* 
users must actively identify the option for their language in the list 
and select it.

So, in summary: Using the accept language header removes the need to 
actively select the language from the great majority of users at the 
cost of slightly reducing the ease of selecting a different language 
for the minority.

I'm of the opinion that the increased difficulty is minimal and will 
only effect a small minority of users and thus it is worth paying 
attention to the accept language header.

I would like to see some evidence as to how many people would be 
negatively effected by this (i.e. how many people are ignorant of the 
language preferences and would set them to something other then the 
default should that be otherwise) and how much extra difficulty it 
would cause them to identify the obvious language selection option 
(this would depend on the specifics of the implementation of that 
option, which has not yet been discussed in this thread).


--
David Dorward
      <http://dorward.me.uk/>
<http://blog.dorward.me.uk/>
Received on Monday, 22 March 2004 06:05:00 UTC

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