June 2007 - Posts
It’s probably because you have the “wrong” main browser language.
I’ve been trying, for over a year, to view my Latest MSDN Shipments with no success. Apparently, I’m forbidden (HTTP response status code 403) to access.
I’ve contacted MSDN subscription’s support several times which has been of no help at all. They seem to be convinced that if they can access it and I delete all my cookies and offline content it will all work; if not, then they are clueless (even with the IEWatch logs I’ve sent).
All this time was able to access in a work colleague’s system and today a thought just popped my mind: “What can possible be the difference between our two systems?”
I jumped right to the first obvious option: browser languages. And, BINGO! My main language is Portuguese (Portugal) [pt-PT] and my colleague’s is English (United States) [en-US].
As soon as I set my main language to English (United States) [en-US], I was no longer forbidden to view my Latest MSDN Shipments.
Mind you that I do have a secondary setting of English (United States) [en-US] on my browser languages.
I’ve tried a few more languages and here are the results:
|English (United States) [en-US] ||Allowed|
|French (France) [fr-FR] ||Allowed|
|German (Germany) [de-DE] ||Allowed|
|Spanish (International Sort) [es-ES] ||Allowed|
|Italian (Italy) [it-IT] ||Forbidden|
|Dutch (Netherlands) [nl-NL] ||Forbidden|
|Portuguese (Portugal) [pt-PT] ||Forbidden|
I wonder who is responsible for this:
public class Formatter
protected ObjectIDGenerator m_idGenerator;
protected Formatter m_objectQueue;
Can you spot how many naming conventions were violated here?
A discussion has started in Eric Gunnerson's blog around the subject of To m_ or no to m_, that is the question....
A lot has been said on this (here is my opinion), but Peter Ritchie has a well written post on this.
At least, Windows Live Search does.
After my post about the way non English speakers are treated by Windows Live, I've been contacted by a Program Manager from Live Search and an Int'l Lead Program Manager.
As it turned out, I had my Live Search settings to display the pages in "Portuguese (Brasil)". This means that everything is working fine with Live Search - correct display setting (pt-BR) for the correct market (pt-PT).
They might want to check the spelling for the Brazilian version though. In Portuguese, country names can have gender or not. It might look odd to not use a gender when it should but it's definitely wrong to use one when it shouldn't be used or to use the wrong one.
The problem with the Brazilian version is that it's always using the contraction of the preposition de (from in English) with the definite article o (masculine form of the English the) which makes do (da is the feminine version). This looks OK with Brazil (masculine) but looks odd with Portugal (no gender) or France (feminine).
I'm no language expert but I don't think there's a rule for when using a gender and which one should be used (it might even differ between Portugal and Brazil). I guess they would need a definition table for that.
The Portuguese version uses only the preposition de without the contraction with a definite article. And in this case it doesn't look odd at all.
Now I feel like a first class citizen, at least in Windows Live Search.
I still think that Google's approach is simplier and better. I just don't use it because I sold my soul to Microsoft (as I've been told many times).
I'm Portuguese. So, I have my web browser language settings set up as "pt-PT; en-US". I always thought that meant that I want Portuguese (Portugal) content if available; otherwise I want English (U.S.) content.
With these settings, when I browse to http://msdn.microsoft.com I get the general U.S. English content and a nice section of Portuguese (Portugal) content (Announcements).
In some other places of the enormous microsoft.com I usually get Portuguese (Brasil) when no Portuguese (Portugal) content is available (like MSDN Magazine articles). I can live with that because I can always change some setting (even if it's in the URL) to get the content in English (U.S.).
But with Windows Live it's way different.
Let's start with Search. If I want to use Windows Live Search (http://search.live.com/) I get redirected to http://www.live.com/?searchonly=true&mkt=pt-BR which is very useful if I'm looking, say, for a washing machine (máquina de lavar). I get all those nice links for shops where to buy a washing machine but I can't get there because Windows Local Live can't get me driving directions to get across the Atlantic Ocean (Google Maps gives me driving directions with the caveat that I have to get wet).
If I do not want to get across the Atlantic Ocean, I still have a check box to choose "Only from the Portugal" (exact translation) or "Only in Portuguese (Brasil)". But if I want English (U.S.) I need to know the URL switch "mkt=en-US". Google, on the other hand, acknowledges the fact that I'm Portuguese (from Portugal) and always redirects me to Google Portugal and doesn't confuse me with a Brazilian user. Even if I go to Google Brasil I can choose to see it in my Portuguese or there's. In either cases, there's a distinction between language and location. I can search Portuguese content in either cases but I can choose content in Portugal or Brazil depending on the site. Also, in both sites, I have a link to go to the main international site.
I saw this nice search box in a blog and I thought it would look nice in my blog. I followed the Get my own Search Box! link and found out that "the page I was looking for was not found". Why? Because my main browser language is not "en-US", that's why.
Windows Live Writer beta 2 is out and I tried to get it but couldn't ("mkt=en-US" doesn't work there). The same thing with the Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta. Fortunately, Scott give direct links before I had found out I needed to change my browser's main language.
Now I'm happily blogging with Windows Live Writer beta 2, but although I run an en-US version of Windows, I have my regional settings set to pt-PT and, to get spell checking for English I have to use this trick.
Sometimes it's not just about how good your are, it's also about how good you treat your users.
I've been using NewsGator and it's FeedDemon for a while.
One of the features of FeedDemon are the News Bins:
Store news items in a central location and provide a handy way to collect items from different channels. If you find an interesting item that you might want to read again, just store it in a news bin for future reference. News Bins are synchronized through the NewsGator Online platform, so you can read these items from FeedDemon on other computers as well as other NewsGator readers.
News Bins can be shared as an RSS Feed and I'm sharing one via FeedBurner. If you are curios about what I find interesting, just subscribe to it.