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Re: Self-descriptive assertions

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 09:59:27 -0500
To: "Williams, Stuart" <skw@hp.com>
Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040331145927.GQ11976@markbaker.ca>

Hi Stuart,

On Wed, Mar 31, 2004 at 12:59:31PM +0100, Williams, Stuart wrote:
> Hello Mark,
> 
> > FWIW, here's one example of that observation that's relevant 
> > to this discussion of media types;
> > 
> > http://www.markbaker.ca/2004/01/XmlDispatchTest/
> 
> wrt to tests 4 and 5: Can you reference a spec(s) that 1) require the
> retrieved representation to be processed using the associated stylesheet,

No.  In fact, this part of RFC 3023 (partly authored by yours truly) says
that it's optional;

   An XML document labeled as text/xml or application/xml might contain
   namespace declarations, stylesheet-linking processing instructions
   (PIs), schema information, or other declarations that might be used
   to suggest how the document is to be processed.  For example, a
   document might have the XHTML namespace and a reference to a CSS
   stylesheet.  Such a document might be handled by applications that
   would use this information to dispatch the document for appropriate
   processing.

Was there something I wrote which suggested I believed there to be a
correct way to handle this?  That wasn't my intent.  This effort was
primarily to observe deployed dispatch behaviour in browsers so that
RFC 3023, when revised, could be updated to reflect that behaviour.
A couple of non-conformances were spotted, but by-and-large, as you
observe below, the specs are silent on this (IMO, important) subject.

/me reads over his conclusions

Ah, was it this that you were responding to?

""
IE's behaviour regarding namespace dispatch alone is consistent, yet
when a no-op stylesheet is applied, either the media type appears to be
implicitly coerced or namespace-dispatch is activated. I can think of no
non-bug explanation for why that might be the case.
""

If so, by "bug" there I just meant a bug in the browser code, i.e. I
can't fathom why you'd want the browser to behave like that.  But that
wasn't meant to suggest that it wasn't in conformance to any spec.
Perhaps I should clean up my language.

> 2)
> that attribute a media-type to the result of such a transformation

Nope.

> and 3)
> require that the result of the transformation be displayed in place of the
> original representation. I have so far failed to find any (including
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-stylesheet/).

No.

> AFAICT the result of the transformations have no associated media-type (or
> other representation metadata for that matter). I'd suggest that the
> identity transform used is not quite an identity transform wrt to the
> representation as a whole.

Well, if the result of the transformation has no associated media type,
then either a) whatever receives those results is adding a media type
which is different than the original one, b) namespace dispatch is
being activated as a result of the transform taking place, or
c) some other funkiness.

FWIW, I'd suggest follow-ups to ietf-xml-mime@w3.org

Mark.
-- 
Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Received on Wednesday, 31 March 2004 09:52:11 GMT

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