[Fwd]: Response to Mark's message]

Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at webmethods.com
Wed Apr 9 11:53:56 CEST 2003

Francois Yergeau wrote:
 > Operationnally, is there any difference of import between the above and:
 > Accept-Language: ja-JP
 > Accept: text/plain
 > when the Japanese version is not available in plain text?
Many web pages, for example, consist of two parts. The static content
and dynamic data.

The static content in the template might follow Accept-Language and the
dynamic data be formatted using Accept-Locale, including late resource

A better implementation probably chooses between the two.

I guess what I'm getting at is that Really Good Language Identifiers
would be rather valuable in their own right. With those in hand we can
then proceed to paper over the locale mess (abandoning the word locale
might be the best starting point). Of late, for example, I've been
trying to focus on using the terminology "international context" in
preference to locale. This more correctly expresses what the collection
of data actually does.

I'm happy to infer a Java (or other platform/language) Locale value from
the RFC3066 code, plus whatever other contextual information is
applicable to my platform. Hence my interest in fixing the "script" problem.

OTOH, there has to be some guideline for developers to follow when
interpreting the language code. I want other software to make decisions
as similar to mine as possible, in order to obtain consistent results.

I'm suggesting that we might need a specific document that says how to
map a language identifier for use as a "locale". If that document could
actually *be* RFC3066bis, it would save a lot of confusion. The text
might say, for example:

Although RFC3066bis identifiers are intended solely to identify natural
languages, data processing may sometimes need to infer certain
culturally and regionally affected settings or preferences from them.
These settings are sometimes referred to as a "locale" and are generally
constructed using identifiers that are similar to or indistinguishable
from some RFC3066bis identifiers. When inferring these preferences from
RFC3066bis, you should xxxxxx.....

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Director, Globalization Architecture
webMethods, Inc.

+1 408.962.5487  mailto:aphillips at webmethods.com
Internationalization is an architecture. It is not a feature.

Chair, W3C I18N WG Web Services Task Force

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