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Re: MIME types and content negotiation



At 07:28 PM 3/17/00 +0000, Graham Klyne wrote:
>At 02:20 PM 3/17/00 -0500, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>>I don't see the 'complexity' that certain other folks here are complaining
>>about - in fact, I think these 4 bytes promise considerable simplification
>>over any multi-parameter approach, for both humans and machines.
>
>This argument might hold if the only requirement is to (a) recognize a 
>specific application of XML, and (b) (usually) recognize a generic 
>XML-based file format, even when the specific application is not recognized.

(b) is the only interesting requirement at this time.  Some people are 
convinced (admittedly, others aren't) that there are useful things you can 
and will want to do based only on the information that some data object 
claims to use XML syntax.  Thus the main goal here is to get something in 
at the MIME level to signal this case.

>I have read a lot of stuff recently that indicates the forward vision of 
>much W3C activity is that a single XML file may contain data corresponding 
>to many different XML applications.  Once we get into this kind of 
>territory, I think the idea of a MIME subtype suffix becomes hopelesly 
>lost, and some kind of multiparameter approach becomes the simplest way to 
>deal with the recognition problem.

I agree entirely.  There is lots of work to do to figure out how to
package up, transmit, and process multi-vocabulary XML documents, and I'm
far from convinced that the MIME layer is going to be the right place to
do it (although it's an option that needs to be examined closely).  But
that's not the problem that Murata/St. Laurent are trying to solve. -Tim