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Why do they do this?

Have a look at this - www.php.net/tokenizer and tell me where you actually happen to end up.

For me, I get a de*.php.net server, which has half the page in German and half in English. Google does the same kind of thing "Oh, look, this person is in Germany, and despite the fact that he typed www.google.com we'll send him to www.google.de instead. He obviously doesn't know what he's doing."

Fuckwits.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
I hear you loud and clear. I have the same problem. What makes it worse is different sites have different ways of determining what language to use. Sometimes what language I see depends also on what browser I use.

F***wits is a bit harsh. All this i18n stuff is actually pretty damn hard to do right. But very frustrating for us users in Germany who want google.com when we type google.com
Herr Herr Send private email
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
Sorry, but it is a pretty easy problem to solve. You have a link somewhere on the front page with which you choose your language. They could even save the info in a cookie. Maybe I should patent it, because it certainly doesn't seem to be obvious, given that they are not using it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
By the way, Herr Herr, I just use google.co.uk instead of .com now. It at least gives me the right language, give or take a few spelling differences.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
> Sorry, but it is a pretty easy problem to solve. You have a link
> somewhere on the front page with which you choose your language. They
> could even save the info in a cookie.

Are we still talking about google? There's a link on the bottom right that says "Google.com in English". And guess what -- after clicking that link, the next time you type www.google.com it remembers to take you to www.google.com in English!  :)
. Send private email
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
"Oh, look, this person is in Germany, and despite the fact that he typed www.google.com we'll send him to www.google.de instead. He obviously doesn't know what he's doing."

I just typed "php.net/tokenizer" and got http://ca3.php.net/tokenizer -- because I'm in Canada.  The site is just sending me to the closest mirror; which no doubt saves them on bandwidth and improves the speed of the site.  I suppose it's too bad for you the German mirror is in German and not English.
Almost Anonymous Send private email
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
 
I am not really interested in their bandwidth concerns, "Almost". They (php.net, Google, etc.) have designed software which breaks one of the first rules of usability - no surprises. When someone tells their computer to do something they should not expect it to do something else. BTW, shouldn't the Canadian site be in French? The .de site isn't even in German, it is in some half-assed mix of English & German. It isn't even Denglish.

"."> Are we still talking about google?

Generally, not especially about Google. I used Google and php.net as example only. Actually the link (to Google in English) you noticed does not work at all if you do not allow cookies, so that is just as broken.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
 
 
"BTW, shouldn't the Canadian site be in French?"

Ummm.. no. 

"I am not really interested in their bandwidth concerns, "Almost"."

And they aren't really concerned about whether or not you're concerned with their bandwidth.  They are providing a free service and can do what they want to save money.

"They (php.net, Google, etc.) have designed software which breaks one of the first rules of usability - no surprises."

Well that depends.  In the case of google, the redirect to google.ca doesn't really change anything.  Maybe I get search results for things that are banned in the US.  Maybe it's faster for me.  Nothing else is different.  For PHP.net -- I didn't even notice I was in a Canadian mirror.  I'd say your case is a bit of a pain -- but I would think that going to a German site while browing from Germany would the least surpising thing for most German speaking individuals.
Almost Anonymous Send private email
Thursday, November 11, 2004
 
 
> They are providing a free service and can do what they want to save money.

German words are much longer than English. We can keep along this stupid route as long as you wish. (Clue: I don't give a shit where the mirror is located, so long as it is consistent with what I instructed my browser to do.)

> I would think that going to a German site while browing from Germany would the least surpising thing for most German speaking individuals.

I disagree, I think most people would expect to see the result of exactly what they entered.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
 
 
"BTW, shouldn't the Canadian site be in French?"

It can be if you click on the button on the google.ca page.  It defaults to French too if your Windows installation is in French.

But even us, French Canadian, do prefer English search to get some kind of interesting results (that means not too much sites pointing to .fr)

Also, French might be one of two official language in Canada, it is spoken by about 25-30% of the population mainly concentrated in one province: Québec.
Le Poete Send private email
Thursday, November 11, 2004
 
 
From php.net, just click "my php.net" and select your favorite language
Olivier Send private email
Friday, November 12, 2004
 
 
FYI, with Google, if you go to http://google.com/ncr, it won't do the redirect ("ncr" == "no country redirect", I assume).
Brad G. Send private email
Friday, November 12, 2004
 
 
Looks like I found a bug in your URL-izer code, Joel (see above post)...you're probably safe in assuming that trailing commas aren't part of a URL.
Brad G. Send private email
Friday, November 12, 2004
 
 
there's a very specific way that your web browser tells the web server what language you want. in internet explorer and firefox, you can change it with the 'language' button on the settings page.

but that's metadata, and people don't understand metadata, so sites try to 'fix' it for them.

i just wish web sites would use something (like a bunch of flags) to switch languages. it's a bear in an internet cafe to go to a site and get it in chinese or something, and try to guess what 'switch languages' is in chinese.
mb Send private email
Sunday, November 14, 2004
 
 
mb gets it. The rest of you failed. My (German) browser on my (German) Windows has this set to English first then German. Location has little to do with the language you should serve up. In Switzerland there are four official languages, for example.

Monday, November 15, 2004
 
 

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