Every now and again, I’d been seeing little bits of Spanish on the web. But it didn’t occur to me as to why until I was publishing my last blog entry.

There is a designer in the Neon Guild1who is proposing to do a site for a client. The designer talked to Jack about doing internationalization for the client. Jack talked to me. I experimented with it (here) to make sure I knew what I’d do. I figured it out so long as most of the design is in CSS. Apache actually handles content negotiation quite nicely behind the scenes.

To see it in action, edit your language preferences in your browser to prefer French or Spanish over English and go visit the test page I refer to above. Poof, the same site is now in French or Spanish. There’s still some content duplication. If you want to change the format of the page beyond what you can do in CSS, you’ll still have to edit the page for each language. But still, implementing a multi-language site is far easier than I thought it would be. I even toyed with the idea of doing so for accapehart.com. Only, there’s not so much for content on the home page itself. Another quick/handy reference that I used in figuring this out is the Unix FAQ page.

Anyway, in playing around, I’d left my language preference set for Spanish. For the most part (sadly), I didn’t notice a difference in surfing around. Just every now and again, Spanish would pop up in places I didn’t expect it. It wasn’t until the blogger publishing page that I realized what had happened. I think I’ll leave it in place a bit longer to see how the web reacts.

-AC

1 – The Neon Guild is a group of new media professionals in Charlottesville Virginia that I helped found with my friends and colleagues “bk” and Jack. I like to take credit for it even though very little is due me. Indeed if not for the tireless, long-suffering and frequently thankless efforts of the Neon Guild’s webmistress/guildmistress Debra Weiss the Neon Guild would no longer exist for me to be proud of! (Thanks Debra)