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Re: language choice

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 18:11:46 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-validator-css@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0405311804040.14384@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Mon, 31 May 2004, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

> Your web browser sends information about
> your language preferences to the web server and the Validator acts upon
> that information.

That's a good thing to do, and it's nice that W3C sets a good example.
But "language negotiation", as it is called, should not be trusted upon as
the sole means of serving different language variants. As this incident
shows, even experienced users are unfamiliar with the issue, and e.g. the
validator page does not seem to give _any_ hint about the availability of
other language variants. (I don't even know whether there are other
variants than English and French.)

So any "negotiated" page should have explicit links to the other language
variants. This is how things are normally handled, too, on the relatively
few sites that currently deploy language negotiation. For some more
arguments in favor of this, see

Even in situations where the user _has_ configured his browser(s)
to reflect his actual language preferences, it can be useful to know that
different variants exist. For example, I might know a little bit of
English and a little bit of French and would then prefer seeing both
versions to understand the content maximally.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 31 May 2004 11:22:53 UTC

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