Best practices for Country location andlanguages on Global Websites (was Language Picker)

12 Jun 2009 - 4:35am
633 reads
Gregor Kiddie
2008

" ONLY using IP is dangerous."

Was the point I was (badly) making.

No matter how many times I tell "the internet" that I'm not in France it
still gives me French pages!

/stupid user

I agree that doing as much for the user as possible is the best
technique, but it is important to realise the edge cases involved.
Frequent travellers, corporate firewalls, immigrants less accustomed to
their adopted tongue. The edge cases start mounting up.

Company's sites do not exist in a vacuum. While they stand alone in
their own right, they are part of a wider universe of sites a user may
visit. Telling each one as you visit them that you aren't who they think
you are is a frustrating experience.

The way I would prefer to suggest, is for the site to use the language
that the user has already set up on the machine they are using. It is
set once, and then every site they visit uses that setting, making it
much easier and nicer for the user.

(Technically, Flash sites can use the Capability class to find the
language of the machine the swf is running on. I cannot speak for HTML
only sites.)

Gk.

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

Tel: 01382 564343

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