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Re: review of content type rules by IETF/HTTP community

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 17:09:15 -0400
Message-ID: <46C60E7B.2030501@us.ibm.com>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Dan Connolly wrote:
> The Feed/HTML sniffing review comment reminded me... since
> the scope of the HTML 5 spec overlaps with the scope
> of the HTTP spec, we should get review by the IETF/HTTP
> community (including the W3C TAG).
> 
> I just packaged the relevant section
>   http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#content-type-sniffing
> as an Internet Draft-to-be, with this introduction:
> 
> 
> ---8<---
> 
> The HTTP specification[HTTP], in section 14.17 Content-Type, says The
> Content-Type entity-header field indicates the media type of the
> entity-body sent to the recipient.
> 
> The HTML 5 specification[HTML5] specifies an algorithm for determining
> content types based on widely deployed practices and software.
> 
> These specifications conflict in some cases. (@@ extract a test cases
> from Step 10 of Feed/HTML sniffing (part of detailed review of
> "Determining the type of a new resource in a browsing context"))
> 
> According to a straightforward architecture for content types in the
> Web[META], the HTTP specification should suffice and the HTML 5
> specification need not specify another algorithm. But that architecture
> assumes that Web publishers (server adminstrators and content
> developers) reliably label content. Observing that labelling by Web
> publishers is widely unreliable, and software that works around these
> problems is widespread, the choices seem to be:
> 
>       * Convince Web publishers to fix incorrectly labelled Web content
>         and label it correctly in the future.
>       * Update the HTTP specification to match widely deployed
>         conventions captured in the HTML 5 draft.
> 
> While the second option is unappealing, the first option seems
> infeasible.
> 
> The IETF community is invited to review the details of the HTML 5
> algorithm in detail.

On this subject, I have a request.  I'll phrase it as a mild rant, but I 
fully understand why firefox made the change that it did.

The following is a test case:

http://feedvalidator.org/testcases/atom/1.1/brief-noerror.xml

The response contains the content type of application/xml as I wanted to 
view the data in an XML parse tree.  Even though what I sent was per 
spec, and used to work, firefox decided that the need to emulate IE's 
broken behavior was more important than respecting my expressed wishes.

While I don't expect this to be fixed, I would like to request that 
there be some parameter (like, "application/xml; damnit") which 
indicates that I think I know what I'm doing and would appreciate being 
treated like an adult.

Thanks for listening.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 17 August 2007 21:09:31 UTC

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