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From Joshua Slive <>
Subject Re: Language Negotiation: "No Acceptable Variant"
Date Mon, 29 Jan 2001 19:51:52 GMT
On Mon, 29 Jan 2001, Koen Holtman wrote:
> - Have you looked into the LanguagePriority directive?

I'm pretty sure that LanguagePriority does not solve our problem.

> If LanguagePriority does not work for you, alternative tricks that might
> work are:
>  - do not mark the documents in the fallback language with any language

This doesn't work, because a browser configured for "en,fr" priority
would get the "fr" page unless there is a specifcally designated
"en" page.  The work-around I suggested is to include BOTH an "en"
page and a page with no identified language as the fall-back.

>  - use type map files and use the qs= feature in there to set the source
>    quality of the document in the fallback language higher than the
>    others.

I haven't looked into type maps yet, but I have a feeling they would
require a major rearchitecture of the docs.

For the benefit of new-httpd folks dropped in on this discussion,
the problem is that many people have incorrectly configured browsers which
do not list "en" in their accept-languages, even when they do in fact read
pages in english.  This is causing hundreds of "no acceptable variant"
errors per day on the "multi-views" negotiated
pages under

So far the proposed solutions are:

1. Include a "copy" of the english page as (eg) index.html.html.
This page has no specified language, and would therefore be used
as a fallback page when language-negotiation fails.

2. Change Apache to include a directive ("FallbackLanguage"?)
which can designate one of the files as the one to send when
language negotiation fails.

3. Use type maps.  I have yet to investigate this solution,
so I don't know if it is workable.

Can anyone here comment on the feasibility/sensibility of number 2?


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