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

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:32:59 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0708212130280.28693@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Tue, 21 Aug 2007, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> HTTP has a defined media type in Content-Type because it indicates how a 
> given body is supposed to be processed, not just the particular 
> arrangement of bytes.  A great deal of functionality that uses the Web 
> depends on that indication of processing behavior, much more so than the 
> general-purpose browsers that ignore every error for the sake of dull 
> simplicity.

I entirely agree with the above and in fact with most of you wrote, but 
just for the record, could you list some of the Web-based functionality 
you mention that depends on Content-Type to control behaviour? In my 
experience most non-browser based scripts and the like actually ignore 
Content-Type headers even more than browsers do, and it would be 
interesting to study the cases that actually honour them completely (or 
at least, that honour these headers more than browsers do).

Note that HTML5 goes out of its way to try to improve the situation, by 
limiting the sniffing to very specific cases that browsers are being 
forced into handling by market pressures. So HTML5, as written today, 
stands to actually improve matters on the long term.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2007 21:33:12 UTC

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