Re: #428 Accept-Language ordering for identical qvalues

Nicholas Shanks <> Fri, 18 January 2013 12:52 UTC

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From: Nicholas Shanks <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:50:29 +0000
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To: "Roy T. Fielding" <>
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Subject: Re: #428 Accept-Language ordering for identical qvalues
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>> On 2013-01-18 09:46, Amos Jeffries wrote:
>>> I'm with Roy on this one. It's not adding any new requirement about

I feel I concur with Julian the most.

On 18 January 2013 12:11, Roy T. Fielding <> wrote:
> Yes.  It would also be conformant to send Mäori text.

Use a macron or leave it off ;-)
[Option-a] [a] on a Mac with one of the "Extended" keyboard layouts

> Ignoring the preferences sent in Accept-Language is conforming behavior.
> Conformance is not a relevant issue here.  What matters is what the
> user actually prefers. It is my opinion that when a user sets an
> Accept-Language header to
>   Accept-Language: en, de
> what they are actually saying is that they accept both languages
> but would prefer en if the de representation is no better.

You cannot assume that. They are either using a broken client, or both
are acceptable. Please don't change the standard to accomodate broken
clients, especially as these are going to become fewer in number as
time progresses and machines get upgraded.

> The reason I believe this is because user agents that allow a
> user to send such a header field have explicitly instructed the
> user that the field is ordered (or based the value on some other
> ordered list for the host UI, as is the case for some cell phones).

All UAs I know of that allow users to set an ordered list of
languages, also send auto-generated q-values.

Do you actually have any statistics to back up your belief, or is it
just a gut feeling?
Some numbers to say that "versions x and earlier of so-and-so browser
on X-series phones allow users to define an ordered list but do not
send q-values; those browsers currently have a worldwide market share
of 0.0001%" would be useful to know whether it's worth ignoring such
broken UAs to pandering to them.

FWIW, my usual AL string, in browsers that let you set one, is:
"en-GB, en-IE, en-AU, en-US;q=0, en;q=0.95, fr;q=0.5, de;q=0.5,
zh-Hant;q=0.1, *;q=0.2"
My goals should be self-evident from the q-values, specifically to get
english, french or german, to demote 'complicated' Han script and fall
back to anything else. The US thing is to see if sites are actually
obeying my preferences (I get many more "y'all"s than 406's sadly!)