W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2006

Re: hreflang

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2006 20:05:39 +0200 (EET)
To: W3C HTML List <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.63.0602051955570.5876@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sun, 5 Feb 2006, Laurens Holst wrote:

> But, the browser defaults arent absurd, theyre based on information that is 
> available without explicitly prompting the user.

There is no information about the user's language preferences without 
asking the user.

> - - deducing that English is the only language that the user 
> understands is not something that you should do.

What many browsers do by default means doing exactly that.

> The only thing 
> Accept-Language does, imho, is indicate that English is a language that is 
> understood

You haven't actually read the relevant part of the HTTP specification, 
have you?

> and is thus preferred over all the other languages it doesnt list.

Quite an implication. I'm pretty sure you didn't mean what you wrote.
You are saying that if I use a browser that has English user interface,
I can be deduced to prefer English to _all_ languages (since the browser 
lists no other language).

>> Really? I just visited http://www.nero.com on a browser with some language 
>> preferences that do not include English at all, and yet the site presents 
>> itself to me in English, with no indication of any kind of an error.
>
> It seems common sense to me to fall back to English if the language isnt 
> supported, and not throw an error.

It's surely not how language negotiation is supposed to work. The _error_ 
message might be in (simple) English, of course.

> The fact that Accept-Language doesnt list 
> English doesnt mean that the user doesnt understand it.

You haven't actually read the relevant part of the HTTP specification, 
have you?

> Obviously if you have English before Japanese in the list, its going to 
> choose English.

Obviously you didn't check how the www.nero.com site actually works, or 
read what I wrote about it.

Further discussion seems rather pointless, since you are defending the use 
of a protocol feature without caring about how it has actually been 
defined.

This also indicates that the hreflang attribute is probably worse than 
useless. It just adds to the general confusion.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 5 February 2006 18:06:03 GMT

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