Re: Content negotiation example needed.

I followed up the example that Max suggested (, setting Netscape's language
preference to French (fr) and received the following message. Seems like
"negotiation" is a little strong a concept for whats going on.

>Message when language set to French:
>Not Acceptable
>An appropriate representation of the requested resource
>could not be found on this server.
>Available variants:
>   smil-pressrelease.html.en , type text/html, language en, charset iso-8859-1
>   smil-pressrelease.html.ja , type text/html, language ja, charset iso-2022-jp

Is this HTTP protocol? It seems as though: if you have *no* language specified,
server delivers a default. If you have a language defined, the server tries to
deliver that language version, and presents a list of language editions
available otherwise. Is that the net of this content negotiation.

Jim Thatcher
IBM Special Needs Systems

Masafumi NAKANE <> on 09/11/99 06:59:37 AM

Please respond to

Subject:  Re: Content negotiation example needed.

I'm nottoo sure if this is a kind of information you need, or I don't
know too much about it, but ...

First, I don't know any markup or scripting to enable content
negotiation.  At least I couldn't find any markup for this purpose
within HTML 4.0 specification.  I guess maybe there is some scripting
technique, but I'm not familiar with kinds of scripting used on the
Web at all.

Typically, document provider prepares several files for the documenht,
one file for each language and/or character encoding, etc. to put on a
server that has capability for content negotiation.  (Most popular
servers have this function nowadays, I think.)  If the document in
question has English version and Japanese version, they would be named
as foobar.html.en and foobar.html.ja.

On the client-side, user would set the preferred language.  Lynx has
an item for this in its options menu.  If you set this preference to
``ja'', for examples, and access foobar.html, the server returns
foobar.html.ja.  If you don't set this option, the server returns the
document in the default language, which is configured by server

You can find a real-world example at:
with ``ja'' set to the language preference in your browser, you get
the Japanese version.


At Fri, 10 Sep 1999 22:04:58 -0400,
Chuck Letourneau <> wrote:
> For Checkpoint 11.3, "Provide information so that users may receive documents
> according to their preferences"
> The Techniques Document has the following example:
> "1) Instead of including links such as "Here is the French version of this
> document", use content negotiation so that the French version is served to
> clients requesting French versions of documents."
> I have never seen markup (or scripting) that actually shows how to do content
> negotiation.  I honestly don't even know if it is only something that can be
> done server-side or if it can be done client-side.
> I need to include a meaningful example in the EO WCAG Curriculum that will
> students how to actually do it (or what it means to be able to do it), and  be
> able to explain the concept in a few words.
> I also can't think of any reason that the same example couldn't be included in
> the WCAG Techniques document, since the current example isn't really an
> at all.
> Thanks in advance,
> Chuck Letourneau
> ----
> Starling Access Services
>  "Access A World Of Possibility"
>   e-mail:
>    URL:
>     Phone: 613-820-2272  FAX: 613-820-6983

Received on Saturday, 11 September 1999 19:22:40 UTC