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 

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 UTC

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