Yes, there is intelligent life outside the USA
Whenever I have to work with software from a US-based company, the topic of internationalization (adapting software for other nations and cultures) pops up sooner or later. Latest bad example are the Amazon Web Services (Amazon Ecommerce Services, ECS).
On their partner-blog, they released an article titled „Internationalize your Amazon Web Services Application in minutes”. They claim:
Then this article shows you how easily you can adopt your existing Amazon.com Web Services Requests in minutes and also earn referral fees from your international users.
They ramble on, on how easy it is to reroute an ItemSearch Request from amazon.com to amazon.de. This is all true and really easy, wouldn’t it be for this small gotcha:
The only thing else that is good to know is that our unique product IDs (ASIN) are in most cases not identical across our international locales, i.e. the same product can have one ASIN on Amazon.com and have a different ASIN on Amazon.de.
What that means? That you can’t provide a ASIN-based link. Take „Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” for example. At amazon.com the title is „Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)” with a ASIN of „0545010225”. On amazon.de the title is „Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7)” with an ASIN of „0747591059”. It is the same f***ing book for $Deitys sake!
So if you want to link to one specific product (ItemLookUp-Request) on different amazons, you are basically screwed. For lots of products the titles and ASINs differ from shop to shop, although they belong to the same product. You can only search for the title and „hope” that the first hit is the same for every amazon-shop.
Am I the only one to get the impression that l18n was an afterthought at amazon?