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Re: MHTML/HTTP 1.1 Conflicts

From: John Franks <john@math.nwu.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 08:29:18 -0600 (CST)
To: Jacob Palme <jpalme@dsv.su.se>
Cc: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>, Nick Shelness <shelness@lotus.com>, IETF working group on HTML in e-mail <mhtml@segate.sunet.se>, http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980128081849.29024B-100000@hopf.math.nwu.edu>
On Tue, 27 Jan 1998, Jacob Palme wrote:

> Certainly you cannot ask people to reformat existing documents.
> But a company which buys a WYSIWYG HTML editor like Frontpage
> or Pagemill might require that they produce "canonical" HTML
> which agrees with both e-mail and HTTP rules. This would allow
> company employees to, for example, take pages from the local
> Intranet and send them by mail outside of this Intranet,
> without having digital seals and signatures broken.

Much of the discussion on this topic in this forum seems to be based
on the mistaken assumption that the HTTP specification has something
to say about the format of an HTML document.

In fact the HTTP spec *cannot* create or remove any restrictions on
HTML format.  There is another working group dealing with that.
Whether HTML has line length restrictions or EOL requirements is none
of our business as an HTTP working group.  It is also the case that
HTTP cannot enforce restrictions on HTML adopted elsewhere.  Just as
it cannot enforce the correct format of JPEG or PDF.


John Franks
john@math.nwu.edu
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 1998 06:33:49 EST

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