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I18N issue: case-sensitivity of locale subdirectories

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 16:16:34 +0200
Message-Id: <61A8CA3B-C895-4E99-A42A-7207C5C88870@berjon.com>
To: public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>

the following issue has cropped up in the I18N model as described in  
the excellent I18N document from Marcos[0].

Assume we have two localisation subdirectories:


What happens? BCP47 (which we reference) is defined to be case- 
insensitive so it doesn't help us much in this respect.

There are multiple options:

  a) we define a canonical casing and all others are ignored;
  b) we select an order of priority and we only consider one (the  
first to match);
  c) we select an order of priority and we merge them all (in that  
order, with a given precedence rule);
  d) the device on which the user agent is catches fire.

I think that (a) should be ruled out because as BCP47 tells us,  
ISO639-1 recommends lowercase (language codes), ISO3166-1 recommends  
uppercase (country codes), and ISO15924 recommends titlecase (script  
codes). These are different, but likely to be confusing, and I don't  
think that developers should have to worry about that.

I'd like to reject (d) as out of line with our design preferences.

I don't have a strong opinion on this, but I do I have a preference  
for a rule based on (b): if multiple locale subdirectories have the  
same case-insensitive name, then the one that comes first in ASCII- 
code order (e.g. in order: EN, En, eN, en) is used and the others are  

The argument in favour of only using one is that we already have to  
merge multiple directories, and adding one merge operation for what is  
in all probability a user error seems like too much complexity for  
little value (I'm happy to be contradicted by implementers however).  
Picking ASCII-code order is based on the fact that the directory names  
must be ASCII here (the others must be discarded), and picking the  
first is arbitrary.



Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/
     Feel like hiring me? Go to http://robineko.com/
Received on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 14:17:10 UTC

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