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language negotiation and search engines

From: Reto Bachmann-Gmuer <reto@gmuer.ch>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 14:48:31 +0200
Message-ID: <4135C51F.4050302@gmuer.ch>
To: www-international@w3.org

hello

I'm wondering how search engines should handle pages with language 
negotiation where the different laguage versions of a page have only one 
url.

A way for a search engine would be the following:
- the 1st request with all the handled languages with different q-values 
in the accept-language-header.
e.g.
Accept-Language: rm; q=1, es; q=.99, de; q=.98, fr; q=.97, en; q=.95
(If a search engine wants so support all 137-iso languages this header 
becomes quite long, not to mention language variants)

- the second request accepts all languages except the language in which 
the first request has been answered and all languages that had a higher 
q-value than this one in the previous request. Repeat this until the 
server returns a language-version that has already been returned before 
or the list of remaining accept-languages is empty.
e.g.
When the first request has benn answered with a resource in german (de), 
the socond request would be:
Accept-Language: fr; q=1, en; q=.99

To reduce the number of requests necessary more seldomly available 
languages should have higher q-values in the http-request.

The disadvantage of this solution is that many resources have to be 
requested more times than necessary, are there better solutions? 
Wouldn't it be useuful to have a http-response-header indicating all 
available languages?

cheers,
reto
Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2004 12:48:45 GMT

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