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

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 17:48:53 +0200
Message-ID: <46C9B7E5.9000001@gmx.de>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Dan Connolly wrote:
> It's currently part of the HTML 5 work because it's in the
> text that we adopted for review on 9 May and we haven't taken it out.
> http://www.w3.org/2002/02/mid/46423D1F.5060500@w3.org;list=public-html

Understood.

> According to my understanding of Web Architecture, it's quite
> a wart on the HTML spec; it belongs elsewhere.

Yes. Like many other things, it IMHO belongs into a documented target 
solely to developers of user agents, which should be a *separate* document.

> But the principle of Well-defined Behavior argues for including it.
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/html-design-principles/Overview.html#well-defined-behavior
> 
> I find that principle unappealing, but I'm somewhat persuaded
> that it's a necessary evil, or at least that it's cost-effective.

As far as I can tell, the current spec tries to address content 
mislabeled as "text/plain" (optionally with "charset=iso-8859-1"). 
(ignoring the feed sniffing for a moment)

It would be really nice if there'd be a simple way *for us* to get a 
feeling how big of a problem this is in practice. So I'd really like to 
have a browser that allows me to opt-out of sniffing, or that minimally 
informs me about these kinds of problems.

If lots of content on the web that claims to be "text/plain" indeed 
isn't, then that's indeed a problem. But none that HTML5 should address, 
because it affects all HTTP based consumers of these resources, not just 
HTML user agents.

> And of course, I consider the current content-type handling in
> the browsers a bug and I'd like to see it fixed. But it does
> seem like a browser that does so would lose market share
> (see also "Support Existing Content"), so I'm not holding my breath.

Best regards, Julian
Received on Monday, 20 August 2007 15:49:04 UTC

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