I have a ReSTful web service which needs to parse locale-sensitive data from the request. This data could either be in an XML body or part of the query string. Is there any acepted way of determining which locale the data is being sent in (and by extension the locale in which the response should be sent)?
One option is simply to specify to the clients the locale in which all requests should be sent. A friendlier option seems to be to allow the client to specify the locale.
a) using the accept-language http header to encode this information.
b) using the xml:lang attribute for XML POSTs, and an extra field for query strings (e.g. ...&locale=en-GB)
http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-accept-lang-locales warns of limitations in using the accept-language header, but most of the warnings seem to center around requests originating from browsers. In my case the requests will come from other applications.
All advice greatly appreciated!
Your immediate choice is Accept-Language and probably Accept-Charset. A further option is to used a database that maps the client IP to a geographic location (as far as possible). These databases have become quite good. I think, but they usually are not free (you need to pay).