like i said before, philosophically, i do agree that this would be cleaner and the better approach. but we would need to update the atom spec which, as i am reading it, does not allow for extensibility of media type parameters:
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4287#section-7 says that the only allowed parameter is "charset". i think the way to go for all of this to be nice and clean would be to add a "content-type" parameter, which as a value would have a media type (the media type of the content embedded or linked to by the feed). this raises two questions:
- is that kind of parameter value even allowed in a media type? and if it is, how many media type parsers might possibly break because a media type would contain "two media types"?
That's a valid point indeed.
- how realistic is it to update RFC 4287 in that way, which as i understand it would not be backwards compatible?
if that was a realistic way to go, even things such as http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/links.html#rel-alternate might need to be updated, so that the new features would be allowed/supported (and shouldn't HTML5 allow the optional charset parameter that is possible according to RFC 4287?).
any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. kind regards,
I believe that what you're trying to deal with is actually a much more generic problem than what you're describing.
If I'm distributing bitmap files, but for obvious reasons, I decide to use a zip archive containing all these bitmap files together, how do I indicate in Atom that this archive contains bitmap files ? We do not have an easy way to express this kind of information in Atom, we simply point to the archive URL, using the zip mimetype. Other containers (DRM files for example, various audio & video containers) have a similar problem.
As far as I can tell, you're interested in using Atom as an envelope/container, to distribute multiple representations of the same information. In this case, what you're actually doing is not "content negotiation", it is the exact same situation than with other containers.