Blather Software and Programming

Don’t Localize me, Bro!

Update: I sent feedback to reddit about this and someone nice created a bug report in response.

On the one hand, I admire the brave efforts of people who localize sites and applications to Hebrew and other non-ascii languages; on the other hand, (like most Israeli power users, I suspect), I hate using the Hebrew interfaces, especially when all the UI elements get flipped and moved around.

Recently, I started seeing ugly unstyled pages when visiting stories on Which makes it very hard to get the link to the actual posted story.


At first I thought the page hadn’t loaded properly, because of network issues, but it turns out the problem is that I was being served a Hebrew localized page, which was badly localized – the link to the CSS was 404 unavailable.

Apparently reddit will serve you a Hebrew-localized page if your browser lists Hebrew in it’s accepted languages HTTP header.

The key point in that thread is this:


how much traffic do you get in non english reddits

Well we won’t get any if we don’t show non-English speakers that it’s available.

Regardless of what’s causing this behavior, the real problem is that the resulting page is unusable and broken (unless you change your preferences – possible if you’re logged in as a reddit user), and I persume this is because of inadequate testing, which is no surprise considering the miniscule number of people who’d encounter this bug: reddit visitors that have Hebrew set as their preferred language but aren’t logged in – opinionated Israeli power users, in other words  (or shlubs goofing around like me).