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From Joshua Slive <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject Re: (forw) [joy@gkvk.hr: Bug#157734: request to support a wee bit of guesswork in content negotiation]
Date Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:34:57 GMT
On Wed, 21 Aug 2002, Thom May wrote:

> Hi Guys,
> this is a newly filed bug from the debian www team; it holds for apache2
> and
> is a real problem for us.

As this person seems to somewhat realize, Apache's behavior in this case
is following the requirements in the standard.  It is the browser that
is misconfigured.

Making apache try the generic language first would be an explicit
violation of the standards and would prevent properly configured clients
from using some types of reasonable configurations.  (For example, it is
perfectly reasonable for someone to prefer "en-uk, fr;q=0.9; en;q=0.8" if
they speak both english and french fluently, but aren't very familiar with
non-british dialects.)

In 2.0, Apache will, however, implicitly add the generic version of the
language to the accept-language list with a low priority as described
here:
http://httpd.apache.org/docs-2.0/content-negotiation.html#exceptions

In 1.3, you can select a single "fallback" language to be returned instead
of the multiple-choices message by placing a copy of the file with
no language attached.  This is described in the "variants with no
language" section of
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/content-negotiation.html
and in this excellent document:
http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/www/lang-neg.html

Punchline: I believe that Apache's behaviour here is the best it can be
given the HTTP standard.  But this question is almost becoming a FAQ, even
though it is addressed in the 2.0 content negotiation docs.

Joshua.


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