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Re: let authors choose text/html or application/xhtml+xml (detailed review of section 1. Introduction)

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 10:31:25 -0700
Message-Id: <559B059F-C1FF-4D97-939C-04C30341F759@gbiv.com>
Cc: Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>

On Aug 31, 2007, at 8:01 AM, Robert Burns wrote:
>> One of the main reasons for this is because the W3C hasn't made it  
>> clear to developers and browser manufacturers that it's the media- 
>> type ("application/xhtml+xml") that people need to get used to,  
>> not just the XML syntax of XHTML, and it's the media-type that  
>> makes the document XHTML.
> We've been discussing this at length on the "review of content type  
> rules by IETF/HTTP community"  thread (see also the wiki page [1]).  
> I think a more accurate way to think of it is that a file's type is  
> determined by the internals of the file and the authoring tool.

No, that is the completely wrong way to think of it.  Media types
define how a given sequence of bytes are intended to be processed
by the recipient.  I can author dozens of types in vim.  It is
impossible to determine the media type of content by sniffing.
It is sometimes possible to determine a range of possible media
types and pick one based on configuration, but there are always
exceptions that will cause such a pick to be wrong.

If you are going to make rules for sniffing, you need to be honest
about the nature of that beast -- no matter what you define, it will
be wrong some percentage of the time.  It is the user's choice to
determine when that is acceptable, not the choice of a standard.

Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 17:31:42 UTC

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