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Using Content-Encoding and Content-Disposition together

From: Klaus Weide <kweide@tezcat.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 00:59:23 -0500 (CDT)
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.95.970802002231.21691E-100000@huitzilo.tezcat.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/4067
The following question comes up when Content-Encoding and
Content-Disposition are used together in a message:

To which layer in the two-layer, ordered encoding model:

                entity-body := Content-Encoding( Content-Type( data ) )

of 7.2.1 (draft -08) does a suggested filename in Content-Disposition
apply?  As an example, let's take the gziped text format of the draft 
itself, available at
Thanks by the way for providing it in this format, works great with Lynx.

This is currently being served with headers (among others)

  Content-Encoding: gzip
  Content-Type: text/plain

If one wanted to add a Content-Disposition header, should that be

  Content-Disposition: xxx; filename="draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-08.txt.gz"


  Content-Disposition: xxx; filename="draft-ietf-http-v11-spec-08.txt"

Current usage (typically larger files, which will be saved in
compressed form) suggests the first alternative.  If Content-Encoding
becomes more of an on-the-fly thing, the second alternative makes more
sense - especially if proxies can change the coding.  (In the second case
a client wishing to save to disk in compressed form would probably append
the ".gz" suffix to the suggested name, as required or "natural" for the

Since this is a HTTP specific question which doesn't occur for mail,
the HTTP spec should probably say something about it.
It may become an impediment to implementing Content-Encoding in clients,
if different implementations choose different answers.  (for all I know
there may be today more widespread support for Content-Disposition than
for Content-Encoding in user agents.)

Received on Friday, 1 August 1997 23:01:36 UTC

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