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OBJECT's type attribute in 4.01

From: Dmitry Beransky <dmitry@ostankino.ucsd.edu>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 20:34:03 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
To: www-html@w3.org
Hi folks,

The 4.01 spec refines the definition of OBJECT'S TYPE attribute as follows:

    If the value of this attribute differs from the HTTP
    Content-Type returned by the server when the object is
    retrieved, the HTTP Content-Type takes precedence.

Could someone explain the reason it was decided that http takes precedence 
over the local type value?

I would guess that between the author and the server, the author knows 
better what the object's type should be.  The HTTP spec recommends that all 
servers specify a Content-Type field and most server do.  Unfortunately, 
they choose to revert to a default value (text/plain, binary/octet-stream, 
etc) when they are not configured to support a particular media type.  This 
happens particularly often with new media types.

Imagine, for example, that I want to experiment with SVG files, but my ISP 
doesn't know anything about SVG, or they know that it's still an 
experimental standard, or for any other reason don't want to change the 
server configuration.  In the mean time, the server continues to send my 
SVG files as plain/text.  What am I to do, short of switching to a 
different ISP?

Having the TYPE attribute take precedence over the Content-Type field would 
allow authors to deal with such situations, instead of relying on server 

Any comments?

Received on Monday, 30 August 1999 06:34:06 UTC

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