[whatwg] internationalization/localization

Pete Harlow peter.harlow at thales-transportservices.com
Wed Jun 30 02:21:35 PDT 2004

Martin Kutschker wrote:

> What's the users locale? OS/UI settings? Browser settings?

Both in fact. I'll list mine, because they are a horrible hack, most 
will be somewhat saner!

This is the OS Locale I run my browser (Mozilla) in (these are OS 
environment variables):

LC_MONETARY="fr_FR.iso885915 at euro"
LC_TELEPHONE="fr_FR.iso885915 at euro"
LC_MEASUREMENT="fr_FR.iso885915 at euro"

The LC_TIME is Swedish to get the date in ISO (2004-06-30) format, 
LC_MONETARY is French as we use the Euro here, measurement and phone 
format are French and the rest are British English as that is the 
primary language I use.

So I concur with what has been said before - use a standard format for 
the data exchange and let the UA present the form according to the 
locale in force on the platform. If the UA is not able to do this, the 
default should be the ISO 8601 format.

My browser sends the following accept header (which is configurable in 
the browser options):


which I take to mean

'Send English if you have it, otherwise French, by the way, if you have 
it and you are sending English British English would be best, and 
likewise French French...'

Which is then ignored by 99,999% web sites (or is it 99.999%?).
I've only written one page that returns language according to the accept 

To address an earlier point I did say that ISO date format is *often* 
used in Europe - e.g. in many documents intended for international 
circulation. There are only one or two who have this as the customarily 
used format.



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