HTTP::Negotiate - choose a variant to serve

     use HTTP::Negotiate qw(choose);

     #  ID       QS     Content-Type   Encoding Char-Set        Lang   Size
     $variants =
      [['var1',  1.000, 'text/html',   undef,   'iso-8859-1',   'en',   3000],
       ['var2',  0.950, 'text/plain',  'gzip',  'us-ascii',     'no',    400],
       ['var3',  0.3,   'image/gif',   undef,   undef,          undef, 43555],

     @preferred = choose($variants, $request_headers);
     $the_one   = choose($variants);

    This module provides a complete implementation of the HTTP content
    negotiation algorithm specified in
    chapter 12. Content negotiation allows for the selection of a preferred
    content representation based upon attributes of the negotiable variants
    and the value of the various Accept* header fields in the request.

    The variants are ordered by preference by calling the function choose().

    The first parameter is reference to an array of the variants to choose
    among. Each element in this array is an array with the values [$id, $qs,
    $content_type, $content_encoding, $charset, $content_language,
    $content_length] whose meanings are described below. The
    $content_encoding and $content_language can be either a single scalar
    value or an array reference if there are several values.

    The second optional parameter is either a HTTP::Headers or a
    HTTP::Request object which is searched for "Accept*" headers. If this
    parameter is missing, then the accept specification is initialized from
    the CGI environment variables HTTP_ACCEPT, HTTP_ACCEPT_CHARSET,

    In an array context, choose() returns a list of [variant identifier,
    calculated quality, size] tuples. The values are sorted by quality,
    highest quality first. If the calculated quality is the same for two
    variants, then they are sorted by size (smallest first). *E.g.*:

      (['var1', 1, 2000], ['var2', 0.3, 512], ['var3', 0.3, 1024]);

    Note that also zero quality variants are included in the return list
    even if these should never be served to the client.

    In a scalar context, it returns the identifier of the variant with the
    highest score or `undef' if none have non-zero quality.

    If the $HTTP::Negotiate::DEBUG variable is set to TRUE, then a lot of
    noise is generated on STDOUT during evaluation of choose().

    A variant is described by a list of the following values. If the
    attribute does not make sense or is unknown for a variant, then use
    `undef' instead.

       This is a string that you use as the name for the variant. This
       identifier for the preferred variants returned by choose().

    qs This is a number between 0.000 and 1.000 that describes the "source
       quality". This is what says about this

       Source quality is measured by the content provider as representing
       the amount of degradation from the original source. For example, a
       picture in JPEG form would have a lower qs when translated to the XBM
       format, and much lower qs when translated to an ASCII-art
       representation. Note, however, that this is a function of the source
       - an original piece of ASCII-art may degrade in quality if it is
       captured in JPEG form. The qs values should be assigned to each
       variant by the content provider; if no qs value has been assigned,
       the default is generally "qs=1".

       This is the media type of the variant. The media type does not
       include a charset attribute, but might contain other parameters.
       Examples are:


       This is one or more content encodings that has been applied to the
       variant. The content encoding is generally used as a modifier to the
       content media type. The most common content encodings are:


       This is the character set used when the variant contains text. The
       charset value should generally be `undef' or one of these:

         iso-8859-1 ... iso-8859-9

       This describes one or more languages that are used in the variant.
       Language is described like this in A
       language is in this context a natural language spoken, written, or
       otherwise conveyed by human beings for communication of information
       to other human beings. Computer languages are explicitly excluded.

       The language tags are defined by RFC 3066. Examples are:

         no               Norwegian
         en               International English
         en-US            US English

       This is the number of bytes used to represent the content.

    The following Accept* headers can be used for describing content
    preferences in a request (This description is an edited extract from

       This header can be used to indicate a list of media ranges which are
       acceptable as a response to the request. The "*" character is used to
       group media types into ranges, with "*/*" indicating all media types
       and "type/*" indicating all subtypes of that type.

       The parameter q is used to indicate the quality factor, which
       represents the user's preference for that range of media types. The
       parameter mbx gives the maximum acceptable size of the response
       content. The default values are: q=1 and mbx=infinity. If no Accept
       header is present, then the client accepts all media types with q=1.

       For example:

         Accept: audio/*;q=0.2;mbx=200000, audio/basic

       would mean: "I prefer audio/basic (of any size), but send me any
       audio type if it is the best available after an 80% mark-down in
       quality and its size is less than 200000 bytes"

       Used to indicate what character sets are acceptable for the response.
       The "us-ascii" character set is assumed to be acceptable for all user
       agents. If no Accept-Charset field is given, the default is that any
       charset is acceptable. Example:

         Accept-Charset: iso-8859-1, unicode-1-1

       Restricts the Content-Encoding values which are acceptable in the
       response. If no Accept-Encoding field is present, the server may
       assume that the client will accept any content encoding. An empty
       Accept-Encoding means that no content encoding is acceptable.

         Accept-Encoding: compress, gzip

       This field is similar to Accept, but restricts the set of natural
       languages that are preferred in a response. Each language may be
       given an associated quality value which represents an estimate of the
       user's comprehension of that language. For example:

         Accept-Language: no, en-gb;q=0.8, de;q=0.55

       would mean: "I prefer Norwegian, but will accept British English
       (with 80% comprehension) or German (with 55% comprehension).

    Copyright 1996,2001 Gisle Aas.

    This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the same terms as Perl itself.

    Gisle Aas <>