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Localizing BBC News for a Global Audience
Stephen Betts, Online Systems Development Lead, BBC News

Track: Apache
Date: Thursday, July 29
Time: 11:35am - 12:20pm
Location: Salon B


BBC News is amongst the most well-respected and popular news providers in the world. Its website serves 17 million pages per day, with about half of the requests originating from outside the UK. In 2002, an international edition of the website was launched, with the same content, but with the presentation focused on world events.

The exacting editorial requirements led to many technical challenges in serving the two editions. Giving users a seamless experience regardless of their chosen edition requires a complex interaction within request and response phases, for every page served. An Apache module written in-house over several months handles this interaction. Its primary purpose is to ensure that users get the content that they want, not necessarily the content they ask for.

This talk describes the development of the module; its implementation in a highly editorially-led environment; its evolution from having very specific functionality when it was launched, to becoming more modular and generic; and planned future developments, including utilization of the advanced functionality of Apache 2, integration with IP Geography systems and the possibility of releasing it under an Open Source license.

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