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Re: Multipart response support

From: Henrik Dvergsdal <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 12:17:19 +0200
Message-Id: <024AA93A-1A7D-4449-9DDD-87FA91699181@hibo.no>
To: public-html@w3.org

> Can you please define what exactly you mean by multipart responses  
> in HTML?  Everyone who has responded seems to understand but I  
> still can't derive your meaning from the context.  Ideally, can you  
> also provide a short little example?

There is an article in wikipedia that explains the basic concepts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIME

HTML currently supports the MIME type multipart/form-data in HTTP  
requests. This is primarily used to upload files.

What I suggest is  to add support for the MIME type multipart/related  
(or perhaps multipart/mixed) in HTTP *response* messages.

This would allow inclusion of scripts, stylesheets, media and other  
types of resources in web pages/applications as attachments in a  
single response so that they don't have to be downloaded separately.

Within HTML we would need a syntax for refering to attached resources  
rather than URL's. Maybe something like this: ... ?

<img src="attached:apple.jpg"/>


Some usage scenarios:

* Media protection. By embedding media as attachments, users can  
raise the barrier towards theft or abuse, especially if they are also  
provided with mechanisms to disable right-clicking etc. in the client.

* Preloading. Developers can embed critical (small sized) components  
of pages/applications to ensure that they are up-to-date and  
immediately available.

* Simplification of server side applications. Developers can manage  
resources (generated media content, binary data, xml data etc.)  
within a single application rather than having to create separate  
applications to generate external downloads.


The discussion so far has revealed some issues that need to be resolved:

* Caching issues

* Ethics of providing mechanisms to protect/hide content on web pages

* Practical value in terms of protecting/hiding

* Practical value in terms of preloading

* Cost of implementation
Received on Thursday, 29 March 2007 10:17:46 GMT

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