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Re: HTTP: T-T-T-Talking about MIME Generation

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 21:14:52 -0800
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9412162114.aa09779@paris.ics.uci.edu>
Larry writes:

> I think we went through this with HTML; one might have said (many did)
> that:
> 
> "... HTML files are (as the recent spec suggests) SGML-like, not SGML
> conforming. With so many other deviations from SGML...."

And they would be right.  If it were not for Dan's two years of hard
work, they wouldn't be valid SGML.  The reason they can be today is
because there was a very good reason to force HTML into SGML conformancy
and resulted in only a minor loss of functionality (i.e. <PLAINTEXT>).

> I think the original *intent* was to be MIME conforming, and that it
> isn't *hard* to be MIME-conforming, and that there are *benefits* to
> being MIME-conforming.

The original intent was to use MIME as a means of data typing, and the
history of design choices can be (mostly) viewed on the www-talk archive.
HTTP has never been MIME-conformant, and threw all possibility of that
out the window when Content-Encoding was invented.  Until the MIME people
add Content-Encoding to the official RFCs, there is no point in even
discussing the issue here.  All that we can do is show how they differ
and possibly how an HTTP -> SMTP/NNTP gateway should behave.

......Roy Fielding   ICS Grad Student, University of California, Irvine  USA
                                     <fielding@ics.uci.edu>
                     <URL:http://www.ics.uci.edu/dir/grad/Software/fielding>
Received on Friday, 16 December 1994 21:17:17 EST

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