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Re: [Lynx-dev] Proposed patch to init preferred-doc-lang from LANG/LAN

From: Chuck Houpt
Subject: Re: [Lynx-dev] Proposed patch to init preferred-doc-lang from LANG/LANGUAGE
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:58:58 -0400

At 6:55 PM +0000 4/26/07, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
Chuck Houpt dixit:

 However, since LC_MESSAGES is designed to control the
 language used for "informative messages", and web pages are a kind of
 informational message,

They aren't. They are *data*, not part of the programme. Otherwise,
content you write in a word processor would be an informative message
of it? Even GPL'd if the word processor itself is?

I think you've gotten to the heart of the issue. Are web pages/sites just data? Certainly, if Lynx was just a static HTML file viewer program, like the text viewers more/less, then I would agree 100% with you.

However, I think web sites have more in common with interpreted programs than static data. A web site executes via a combination of a local HTML/HTTP interpreter (lynx), and server side code. Lynx is more like an interpreter (perl, java, etc), than a static data viewer or editor (more, less, emacs, vi).

How do interpreters handle locales? In general, they convert the system's locale into a form that can be accessed from the interpreted programming language. Some languages have locale APIs that are very similar to Unix (Perl). Others, like Java, have cross-platform APIs that require greater conversion.

HTTP's Accept-Language "API" is very foreign, but a basic locale setting can be converted. Of course, the settings should be fully customizable.

Some illustrative examples:

Given that is an multilingual Perl script, then the following will display myprog messages in Japanese:

export LANG=ja

Give that is a multilingual web site, then the following should display with Google's Japanese messages (modulo custom settings):

export LANG=ja

Like, is a kind of program - a web app. Like any multilingual program, I would expect it to honor system language settings.

- Chuck

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