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Re: Informal last call: Announcement of draft-murata-xml-06.txt



At 10:32 AM 6/22/00 +0200, E.L. Willighagen wrote:
>It is easy to give this document a text/xml MIME type, but i would say that
>the mechanism which is proposed: application/mathml+xml is very interesting.
>
>But how would that mechanism apply to the document?
application/xhtml,mathml,cml+xml
>Obviously not, because you cannot register all combinations...
>
>The reason why i think this is important is the content negotiation process, 
>where the client has to say something like: application/mathml+xml,
>application/cml+xml etc... And in this case the client could say:
>Accept: application/mathml+xml, application/cml+xml;

I'd very much like to see this functionality provided - I don't, however,
think it's possible to get that amount of information into the MIME
infrastructure itself.  We went round and round a few dozen times getting
consensus on even the suffix, and it seems that the functionality you're
looking for is the domain of the content negotiation working group.  

For XML, it's reasonable to say that MIME types are only describing the
document container type, not the contents.

(I just posted an article on XML.com that outlines some of these
complexities, and their relationship to various technologies:
http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/06/21/disruption/index.html)

>But this is not complete. Since namespaces are not part of XML1.0 but an
extension
>text/xml does not include namespaces. So the proposal also lacks a mechanism
>to say that a document uses namespaces.

Agreed - though I've said a few times that this feels like a flaw in XML
itself, in need of resolution through packaging.  For an example of what
that could look like (though doubtless quite different from what might
someday be implemented), see my XML Processing Description Language (XPDL) at:
http://purl.oclc.org/NET/xpdl

There are definitely a number of difficult problems to solve here; we've
just tried to solve an acceptable subset.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books