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From Marc Slemko <>
Subject Re: Multi Language Error Documents
Date Sun, 19 Aug 2001 18:24:19 GMT
(cced to new-httpd, since this really impacts a lot more than just the
docs and I think a whole lot of people are not on the docs mailing

On Sun, 19 Aug 2001, Lars Eilebrecht wrote:

> > > Another entry for the todo list:
> > > 
> > >  - Add the config for this to httpd-std.conf.  I believe
> > >    that we should enable it by default.
> >  
> >  Not just yet ... let's get the language issues straightened out.  Also, it
> >  loads down the server, dunno if we want to do that to administrators :)
> We already activate MultiViews by default, so I don't think this is
> a problem.

Well, that assumes two things.

Assumption 1: Having multiviews on by default the way things are now is
"ok". I'm not really thrilled with it, and haven't been since it was
done... it has already introduced a variety of security and functionality
issues, and is likely to continue to do so because it enables a new code
path that is complex in concept and somewhat convoluted in implementation.

Assumption 2: This doesn't introduce any issues beyond what the
multilingual index.html files do.  I'm not sure that is valid.  The
reality is that the vast majority of Apache users do NOT use language
negotiation to make multiple languages available.  Having localized error
pages on a non-localized site simply isn't all that useful just like,
IMHO, having localized default index.html pages in languages where there
is nothing else available in that language isn't all that useful.  The
typical user will get rid of the default index files when they add their
own content (which means there is no longer any point in having multiviews
enabled on that server to begin with, although most will unfortunately not
disable it), but having error pages internationalized by default is
different because they may stick around for an extended period.  Error
pages are also often shown in... well... error conditions, and the
overhead of having a large number of varients could get to be quite
significant if there is a high traffic volume.

I'm not trying to discourage internationalization of docs or the
work people have done, but think we have to be careful to keep
things in perspective and not loose sight of what users actually
want and need... I strongly believe that a well thought out yet fairly
minimal and conservative in ways that make sense default configuration is
what we want.

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