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Re: Language tag education and negotiation

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 01:59:30 -0400
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <20080426055930.GF24609@mercury.ccil.org>

Leif Halvard Silli scripsit:

> Technically, when a 'en-GB' tagged file gets acceped by a browser 
> preferring 'en' tags, then the magic must be happening inside the Web 
> browser.

In fact no: *that* magic happens in the server, which sees that the
document tagged "en-GB" is a partial match for the request "en" and
returns it in the absence of a document tagged "en".

> So, speaking about eudcation: where shall the education take place, if 
> we want that 'nn' tagged files shall be served to a browser preferring 
> 'no'? Is it not the User Agents that needs to learn?

Yes.

> Ok, so we agree that for Norwegian, 'no' is the problem. But then it 
> seems to me that it is in the *web browsers* that it ought to be close 
> to impossible to select 'no' as preferred language tag.

It's all right to make the order no, nn, nb (or no, nb, nn) if you truly
have no preference at all and are prepared to read either.  I don't know
if there are any Norwegians that are that bidialectal.

> The Nynorsk order of preferences should be nn,no,nb.
> The Bokmål order of preferences should be nb,no,nn

Yes.

> Ha, perhaps we should even be more drastic and have this order of 
> preference:
> 
>    Nynorsk profile: nn,nb,no
>    Bokmål profile: nb,nn,no

I think that last would be a mistake: on bidialectal sites that use no
instead of nb, you'd get nn instead.

> Effectively, for the Nynorsk user, both 'nb' and 'no' would map to 'nn'. 
> Whereas 'nn' and 'no would map to 'nb' for the Bokmål user.

Yes.

> In order to generalise so it is useful not only for the Norwegian 
> situation, I think that for instance the way Firefox lets me choose 
> language is meaningless. 

Well, you can use the low-level interface and be precise.  Go to
the page about:config and scroll down to intl.accept_languages;
you can set that to a list of language tags separated by commas.

-- 
In politics, obedience and support      John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
are the same thing.  --Hannah Arendt    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Received on Saturday, 26 April 2008 06:00:02 GMT

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