Forum OpenACS Development: Re: XoWiki URL Cleanup
Carl's item 3 above, "language to be determined using content negotiation", is the only part whose design and implementation in OpenACS seems unclear so far, and probably needs discussion.
(I haven't actually worked with XoWiki yet, so the below may be ignorant of any related features it already yes...)
This language negotion thing sounds like a good approach, if it works. The major caveat I'd make is that regardless of whether language negotion succeeds or fails, it should always be possible for the user to see the other languages/versions of that document available, explicitly select an alternate version, send others a link to either the specific document/language URL or the generic URL, etc.
In other words, the language negotion should give the most reasonable default, but the user should always have the option of easily taking over explicit control, by simply clicking on the appropriate links. If a user uses the generic URL, and gets the German version via language negotion, he should always be able, via some website UI, to see that there are also English and Spanish versions available, and explicitly access those specific versions if he so chooses.
Note, this is entirely separate from telling the website, "No, I don't want any German docs from you, please change my site-wide preference to English." The user should also be able to do that, but that should be mostly orthogonal to the per-item access I'm talking about above.
After all, a user may prefer German as his default, but want to read the original English version of a specific document, email the URL of the Spanish version to a colleage saying, "Heh, I think the translator mis-translated paragraph 8 of our paper, but my Spanish is rusty, what do you think?", etc.
Yes clear display of available languages is essential (it is mentioned in the comments of the document I linked to).
When I was working with Lars on i18n we planned to tackle content negotiation after doing all the UI work, but never got to it b/c we ran out of time (and budget). It was not tragic really b/c having content in multiple languages was the exception rather than the rule.
In any case, I would like to see a solution that is not limited to xowiki and the prospect of having thousands urls with unnecessary /lang/pages/ in them on our local site is motivating.
I will try to find out what others have done (e.g. someone recently mentioned that the new version of plone does a good job in this area) and will report back
I do not want this to be hack either Gustaf.