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

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 12:46:50 -0500
Message-Id: <503C8DE3-3135-4A69-926D-94B2AFCF05B1@robburns.com>
Cc: Roy T.Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>, "Magnus Kristiansen" <magnusrk+w3c@pvv.org>, public-html@w3.org
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>

On Aug 26, 2007, at 12:10 PM, Robert Burns wrote:

> [...]
> Regarding the use of registered MIME types and the earlier  
> reference Apache bug[1]:
> Why not simply configure Apache by default to return a content type  
> of 'unknown' or 'x-unknown'. I just changed my own local Apache on  
> my Powerbook to return a default of unknown and then Safari tries  
> to download the file (an HTML document).
> I wonder whether this could be solved by simply registering the  
> unknown MIME type with IANA; updating the default Apache  
> installations; and  perhaps amending HTTP to permit UA  sniffing  
> for "unknown" as well. Is there something to be gained by sending  
> no content-type header as opposed to sending "content-type  
> unknown'? Just curious especially considering how Apache seems  
> afraid to fix this on their end. With a registered root MIME type  
> of 'unknown', this would also significantly raise awareness about  
> the issue for current installations
> Its interesting here too in that Apple, ,who is both an Apache  
> vendor and a browser maker,  includes 'DefaultType text/plain' in  
> the default configuration.
> Incidentally, I've also started a new wiki page on this issue[2]  
> (though still in a fairly rough form). My goal with this page is to  
> focus the discussion in an HTML5 centric way. In other words to  
> consider how 1)  how HTML might change to address the use cases;  
> 2)  how HTML5 might provide UA norms to address the issue; or 3)  
> how this WG might liaison with other organizations and vendors to  
> address the issue. Anyone is welcome to contribute to the wiki page  
> (if that needs saying).
> Take care,
> Rob
> [1]: <http://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=13986>
> [2]: <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/ContentTypeIssues>

However, after further testing, both Opera and Firefox treat the file  
as HTML. Here's the HTTP header's they get that they treat as HTML  
(for the file 'some.strangextension'):

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 17:45:45 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.33 (Darwin)
Last-Modified: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:51:06 GMT
ETag: "9092df-545-46cf289a"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 1349
Content-Type: unknown

Take care,
Received on Sunday, 26 August 2007 17:47:06 UTC

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