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Re: Proposal on removing Content Negotiation from http 1.1

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@hq.lcs.mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 96 17:56:08 EST
Message-Id: <9601242256.AA06802@hq.lcs.mit.edu>
To: masinter@parc.xerox.com, pjc@trusted.com
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
The web protocols have from time to time suffered a great blow because
of the desire to encode in specs "current practice".  This desire ignores
any need for foresight or clean architecture.

Content negotiation was planned from the early days as a flexibility
point which separated HTTP and HTML, and would allow evolution of the
web in ways we do not yet envision.  It has been a hard sell because
itse design involves sending a lot of bytes. However, the web is now
suffering from its lack.  Right now, there is confusion, user-agent
abuse, lack of direction when it comes to introduction of HTML tables,
PNG, progressibe jpeg, etc.  Wait till you see applets available in AVI,
Java, 386 machine code and Python.  I feel that making this work is
very important.  I believe that removing it would be a disaster, and
send exactly the wrong signals to the whole community.

Tim BL

PS:  (I assume that it content negotiation can be made to work
with fewer bytes).

___________________________________________________________
Tim Berners-Lee	                    Director, W3 Consortium
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science Phone +1 (617) 253 5702
545 Technology Square               Fax   +1 (617) 258 8682
Cambridge MA 02139, USA             Email      timbl@w3.org
http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee
Received on Wednesday, 24 January 1996 14:58:08 EST

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