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

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:39:47 -0400
Message-ID: <46C9DFF3.3070703@us.ibm.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> On Aug 20, 2007, at 10:14 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
>>
>> Again, I think you are missing my point.
>>
>> Random Joe user puts a feed up, and the host serves it as text/html.  
>> It happens more often than you might think[1].  The current behavior 
>> of IE7 and Firefox and others is to sniff the content and display it 
>> as a feed.   I have no problem with that.
>>
>> Meanwhile, I put a test case up, and serve it intentionally as 
>> application/xml.
>>
>> Given these two diverse use cases, how can I configure my own browser 
>> to display the content "in the most appropriate way for me" if there 
>> is no way for me to distinguish these two cases?
>>
>> All I am asking for is for an architected way to serve selected 
>> content in a way that "opts out" of content sniffing for that specific 
>> request, and have my wishes respected in a large percentage of the 
>> browsers deployed a decade from now.
> 
> I think Lachlan's point was something like this:
> 
> Handling application/xml by rendering the content based on the XML 
> language used is expected and appropriate handling for that MIME type. 
> It is not a form of content sniffing in the same sense as treating 
> text/plain as text/html would be.
> 
> So while it may be valuable to have a way to say "this is really the 
> content type, please don't sniff", your example does not make a very 
> strong case for it, since browsers are in their rights to do custom 
> rendering of any XML content type based on the namespaces used in the 
> contents.

If I changed my content type to text/plain, would that change your 
answer?  I would gladly change my Content-type to text/plain if only I 
could get browsers to respect that.  Gladly.  But they don't.

So far, the only advice I have received is to add 512 or more bytes of 
text to each and every test case, and watch the spec for further changes.

For further reference:

http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/08/13/safari-content-sniffing

- Sam Ruby
Received on Monday, 20 August 2007 18:40:15 GMT

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