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Re: Accept-Language and q values

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 12:20:39 +0100
Message-ID: <3896C187.F7871402@w3.org>
To: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@mail.vicnet.net.au>
CC: www-international@w3.org

Andrew Cunningham wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> At 04:19 PM 1/31/00 -0000, you wrote:
> >[Carrasco]
> >For most applications one does not probably needs the q and the order
> >is sufficient; indeed, I do not know of any browser that supports this.
> >But then, one cannot express "English" *or* "Spanish" on the same level;
> >i.e., without order. I cannot see when one could need to express
> >"no preference", but one never knows.
> >
> I work with situations everyday where you would want to express
> "no preference" as you call it.
> That sistuation is public access PCs in public libraries and educational
> institutions. The municiplaity I work for, although very small, has at least
> 63 langauge groups. We attempt to provide multilingual public internet
> access in our libraries.

Okay, good.

> We cannot make assumptions about the language our users are using.
> Therefore best for us if the langaueg preferences of the browser were set
> to null.

Actually, I think you just demonstrated that you can't make assumptions
about the language the *computer* will be using.

Individual users, of course, do have linguistic preferences. This is easy
to arrange when there is a small fixed pool of user for a computer, or for
a local network of computers.

> Getting a web page served up based on the browsers langauge preferences,
> could mean getthing the wrong page served up.

Yes. Getting a web page based on the servers preferences could also mean
getting the wrong page served up.

The trick is to have linguistic (and other) preferences that are attached
to users, and that do not persist across users.

Possible options that you might explore are 

- having a welcome screen that sets (or remembers) the preferences of
individual users, with an auto-logout after some period of inactivity; 
- using existing identification systems (eg, swiping magnetic-stripe
library cards) as a way of persisting preferences (including language

Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2000 06:20:51 UTC

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