W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > October 2001

Re: Where does the EARL go?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 01:19:40 +0100
Message-ID: <053a01c158fd$06d24be0$7ce793c3@y0r1d9>
To: "Jim Ley" <jim@e-media.co.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
> It needs a MIME-type, and "text/x-earl" seems appropriate
> to me for now.  What's your reasoning against that?

A minute or so spent reading RFC 2048 yields a small part of the answer:-

   For convenience and symmetry with this registration scheme, media
   type names with "x." as the first facet may be used for the same
   purposes for which names starting in "x-" are normally used.  These
   types are unregistered, experimental, and should be used only with
   the active agreement of the parties exchanging them.

   However, with the simplified registration procedures described above
   for vendor and personal trees, it should rarely, if ever, be
   necessary to use unregistered experimental types, and as such use of
   both "x-" and "x." forms is discouraged.
]]] - RFC 2048, Section 2.1.4.

Since EARL is meant to be an open public format, it would behove us to
register a proper MIME type for it, perhaps even in the "prs" tree, if we
were to register a MIME type for it at all.

Secondly, EARL/RDF is clearly an application. "application/prs.earl" looks
like a better solution, but then there are version problems: do 0.9, 0.95,
and 1.0 all need different version numbers? When you look at the modularity
of RDF, you'll see that it would be difficult to even add a constraining
facet to the MIME type.

EARL is an application of RDF. If every single RDF application registered a
MIME type for differences in the model, then there would be chaos. MIME
types denote the *serialization* format, noting that a "+rdf" MIME type
extension is not out of the question as a generic root denoting the
data-model. Creating a MIME type for EARL would be harmful since EARL is
serialization independent. Unless you want us to bind it to a particular

There are other ways to type links than exposing a MIME type as a quality
of the object.

> > and you have had plenty of time with which to send
> > feedback.
> The conclusion to that is, that new input is not
> welcome, [...]

Of course new input is welcome! The assertion of mine was actually just a
cloaked question, namely "why did you wait so long before raising this
issue?". There could be any number of reasons why that is so. I thank you
for your comments, and the time you have spent in doing so.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 19 October 2001 20:20:55 UTC

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