W3C International Internationalization / Localization

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Creating a multilingual site with the CERN-httpd server

The CERN-httpd server (a.k.a. W3C server) has several mechanisms for configuring the HTTP headers that are send with a document.

MetaDir/MetaSuffix - directory for meta-data

In each directory under the server, you can create a directory .web for storing additional HTTP headers. If you have a file called foo and you want it send out with a additional HTTP headers, such as Expires:30-Sep-94, you create a file foo.meta in the .web subdirectoy with those headers in it.

The configuration options MetaDir and MetaSuffix in the httpd.conf file allow you to select different names if you don't like .web and .meta.

AddLanguage - translate file suffix to language

If you consistently name file in a certain language with a certain suffix, you can have the server add the correct Content-Language to the HTTP headers. E.g., if .french means the file is in French and .magyar means it is in Hungarian, you can add the following rules to the httpd.conf file:

AddLanguage   .french   fr
AddLanguage   .magyar   hu

The server will then send appropriate Content-Language headers for files with that extension.

AddType - bind suffix to MIME type

The server normally doesn't send a charset parameter with the content type, but with AddType you can (sort of) make it do that. Add a line like the following to the httpd.conf file:

AddType    .html2   text/html;charset=iso8859-2   8bit

Make sure there are no spaces between text... and ...2. You can now write files in the Latin-2 character set and give them a name ending in .html2. The server will now send the character set information along with every file with that suffix. [Does this actually work?]

W3C Bert Bos, i18n coordinator
Last updated 19 Jul 1996