deployed language negotiation

Daniel Yacob
Thu, 28 Feb 2002 08:40:03 -0500

> I am puzzled that there is not more language-negotiation on 
> multilingual Web sites.  Is there some implementational problem with 
> language-negotation that I'm unaware of?

I was puzzled in the same way until I gave it a try and discovered at
least one issue that is handled in a rather ugly way.  Point your browser

If your accept-language is set for either English or Amharic you'll be
served accordingly.  When these two languages are NOT in your accept-language
list (you have to remove them) Apache generates an error page with a highly
discouraging "Not Acceptable" message.  Web visitors may turn away before
reading the details of the message which indicate the languages available.

The problem is solved in the forthcoming Apache 2.0 wich offers a "fallback"
language configuration option, so that a web page is served instead of the
error message.  The ironic part is that Apache fell back to English for the
error message but couldn't do the same for the requested page.

I don't know how other web servers handle the same problem.