980508-4 How can an HTTP client automatically select in which language a HTML page is to be displayed?


In the request command, the HTTP client includes the following header field to the server:

Accept-Language: sv

Where "sv" indicates the Swedish language. The language tags are based on an ISO standard, further enhanced by IETF in RFC 1766.The value in the Accept-language header field can, according to the present HTTP/1.1 proposed standard, be one or a list of preferred languages, for example

Accept-Language: da, en-gb;q=0.8, en;q=0.7

indicates that Danish is best, British English second best, any other English third choice. However, much existing software today (May 1998), is only able to handle a single, or the first, language.

This method is known under the term server-driven selection, since it is the server which decides which version to send based on information from the client. The RFC 2068 version of HTTP/1.1 also specified a header for client-driven selection, with the name Alternates. The idea is that the server sends a list of alternate forms of a document, with information about them, and the client choses which to download. This field has not been very much used, and will probably be removed from the next version of HTTP.

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