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Re: Finishing the XML-tagging discussion



At 01:33 PM 3/20/00 -0500, Keith Moore wrote:
>if you want an expression that matches anything ending in -xml, 
>as far as I can tell, existing http accept header semantics,
>and existing conneg expressions, are not sufficient to recognize that.
>
>if you want it to be more general and anticipate the possibility
>of multiple frobs (not just -xml) then you need something like
>a regular expression matching capability 
>(so you can look for things like "-xml(-|$)" )

I think we may encountered a problem in our underlying viewpoints.  You're
talking about sending */*xml over the wire in headers, while I'm only
talking about using */*xml to recognize XML documents when I get them.  

I don't think the proposal as written breaks things any more than
introducing a new MIME type would.

Perhaps you're reading too much into this, from section 6:
I-D>Applications may match for types that
I-D>represent XML entities by comparing the subtype to the pattern
I-D>*/*-xml.

Yes, older tools wouldn't do anything in particular with the suffix.
Lacking any such regular expression capacities, they'd just see it as
another MIME type and ignore any concept of dispatching it to generic XML
processing.

This is the case with any innovation, not a compatibility breakdown.

Compared to the parameter option you keep proposing, I'd say this causes
almost zero problems as far as interoperability and compatibility are
concerned.

If user agents start requesting */*xml, we do have a problem.  However,
that isn't what this I-D proposes - if users find that useful, they'll have
to push for changes in the protocol infrastructure.  I think it would be
useful, and is a possibility opened by this proposal, but it is not part of
this proposal.

All this suffix does is provide additional information identifying content
as having an XML foundation.  I don't believe it has any other
implications, nor do I believe it will interfere with other developing
standards for content negotiation.

I'll be in San Jose at Software Development for the next few days, so won't
be online with my usual frequency.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth
http://www.simonstl.com