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XHTML MIME type

From: Anders Kristensen <ak@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 15:07:26 +0100
Message-ID: <3727161E.617396C3@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
The XHTML draft invites discussion on what MIME type to use for XHTML
documents, in particular how to use the generic text/xml type without
loss of information. The following is some comments I sent to the
authors of RFC 2376 (XML Media Types,
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2376.txt) 6 months ago.

MIME and XML both define their own typing systems. In fact XML could be
argued to have two: document type definitions (DTDs) and namespaces.
MIME's typing system is of course the type/subtype pairs together with
type-specific parameters. The idea then is to define MIME parameters for
text/xml and application/xml which can be used to refer to typing info
at the XML level. So this could be three optional parameters:

  dtd - a URL specifying a DTD
  fpi - a formal public identifier
  ns  - a namespace URI

I can think of the following advantages. I'm sure there are more:

  o It would be useful for applications which does look at the MIME
content type in HTTP responses, say, but which does NOT want to parse
XML content just to find out the resource's namespace or DTD.
  o It would allow an HTTP client to say in an Accept header the exact
type of the resource it is interested in. This alleviates the need for
introducing specific types for each XML encoded data type around.

I'm curious about what your thoughts on this issue are. Would this make
a desirable addition to the RFC?

Regards,
Anders

-- 
Anders Kristensen <ak@hplb.hpl.hp.com>,
http://www-uk.hpl.hp.com/people/ak/
Hewlett-Packard Labs, Bristol, UK
Received on Wednesday, 28 April 1999 10:07:31 GMT

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