Re: Determining Locale in a Browser for Web 2.0 Applications

From: Ed Trager (
Date: Sat Apr 18 2009 - 14:17:36 CDT

  • Next message: Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven: "Re: Determining Locale in a Browser for Web 2.0 Applications"

    On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 4:02 AM, Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven
    <> wrote:
    > -On [20090418 05:22], Ed Trager ( wrote:
    > >If we can detect the user's locale, we can present the form immediately in the
    > >language specified by (any non-English) locale instead of the English
    > >fallback. Of course we will still have the drop-down selection list so users
    > >can still get any of the alternative language versions of the form if they
    > >want.
    > With Babel we just use HTTP's Accept-Language.

    Will HTTP Accept-Language ever give you any more information than
    Javascript's Navigator.language provides?

    > >So my 2nd question: Beyond the basic "language" code ("en", "th", "fr", etc.) I
    > >guess there is no reliable way within the browser environment to determine more
    > >specific locale information?
    > Not that I know of. With Babel we have a mapping table for mapping such
    > generic categories to a specific locale.

    Just out of curiosity, which "Babel" project are you talking about?

    > >For example, (3rd question...) am I correct in assuming that I *cannot*
    > >determine date format preferences? For example, if a browser like Opera is
    > >only going to tell me "en" and not "en-GB" or "en-US" or "en-AnywhereElse",
    > >then I guess there's no way to localize the date format to a preferred locale?
    > No, you will have to make an assumption.
    > >(4th Question ...) So I guess it is completely moot to think one could find
    > >out about preferred currency or numeric formats, or anything else that a
    > >"thick" client might be able to discover from operating system environment
    > >variables that I suppose are never really exposed within the browser
    > >environment?
    > Nope, again you will have to either make an assumption or use whatever
    > HTTP's Accept-Language gives you.

    We are seeing the emergence of browsers as a sort of "operating
    system" for distributed internet "applications".

    So I am just wondering if anyone has been thinking about exposing more
    specific locale information inside of web browsers? For example, a
    browser could just read the OS's locale information and expose that in
    a relevant object accessible via Javascript. Such an object might
    report information about numeric and date formats, currency, etc.

    Does anyone have any ideas or know anything about such ideas?

    Best - Ed

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