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Re: reason for application/iotp-xml (was RE: Registration of MIME med ia type APPLICATION/IOTP)

(It's a bad sign when it takes more than 15 seconds to trim off the Cc: list...)

At 01:00 PM 3/11/00 -0800, ned.freed@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
There are mechanisms in MIME to call out properties like this. Why
are we trying to embed this particular one in the name instead of
using the mechanisms that MIME provides?

Because upon examination none of them seem even remotely correct for the task at hand. My conclusion is that if you want to do this, this is right way.

That's a big "if", particularly if you look at this application. Thank goodness we are finally talking about a real example of something that is formatted with XML, and are no longer postulating about "potential" applications.

IOTP is a trading protocol. It involves talking about money and descriptions and roles and promises. What possible value would there be to a recipient using a non-IOTP-aware program to have that program automatically hand the IOTP package to an XML parser? It's not like that automatic handoff will magically cause trade to happen when it wouldn't have before.

In the specific case of IOTP, the right thing for the receiving agent to do when it doesn't recognize application/iotp is to write the object out to disk and say "there is an object whose file name is <foo> waiting for you". The sender might even give a filename hint of "foo.xml". The recipient can then open that object up in whatever generic file opener they have.

To date, we have not seen anything formatted in XML that would be useful to automatically hand to an XML parser. If the parser knows about the type, it would have snagged it on receipt. All of these things would be just as useful being handed to a text viewer where the user can see "oh, this is XML and I have a tool that will format this nicely". (I imagine the same thing could be done for binary blobs to make a guess if you want to pass them through an ASN.1 dumper...)

I propose to leave the type application/iotp and to drop this discussion until there is a request for a real-world application where thre would be some advantage to the end user for application/foo-xml to be handed to an XML viewer directly instead of being written to disk.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--Internet Mail Consortium