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Re: Translations

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 20:34:55 PST
To: carrasco@innet.lu
CC: www-international@www10.w3.org
Message-Id: <97Jan19.213455pdt."441"@palimpsest.parc.xerox.com>
# "q" should be used for *one* of the following:
#  - Quality of the linguistic version
#  - Ordered preference list of languages

"q" from a client means "preference order"
"q" from a server means "quality order"

So they mean different things depending on whether they're part of the
request or part of the response.

Originally these were designated as ordinal (just used for ordering),
not cardinal (the amounts had some other significance).

Trying to assign a semantics for cardinality is really hard, both for
preference and for describing "quality".

If you try to assign semantics to different quality ranges, you may
arrive at a situation where you are requiring information providers to
assign numbers but they don't actually know the numbers. You might
know that one translation is "better" than another, but not really
know how to rate "really good" against "good" in numeric values.

It's not so much that HTTP can't be changed at this point, it's that
it wouldn't be a good idea to try to add requirements that can't
actually be met.

Received on Monday, 20 January 1997 00:35:32 UTC

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