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Re: MIME links [was: self-contained html file format]

From: Josh Haberman <joshua@haberman.com>
Date: 23 Jan 2003 18:12:29 -0800
To: Vix <vixcc@yahoo.com>
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1043374349.1558.80.camel@birdie>

On Wed, 2003-01-22 at 01:58, Vix wrote:
> -- Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU> wrote:
> > 
> > > It seems to me that it would be immensely useful to have some standard
> > > scheme for storing an html document along with all of its external data
> > > (such as images) in a single file.
> > 
> > This is already handled by some types of multipart MIME documents (where you
> > can link to sub-parts from other sub-parts), iirc.
> 
> MIME allows for embedding multiple parts into one WHOLE part.
> However, linking one part to another is not handled (up to my knowledge) and is left up to the
> viewer.
> 
> For example, you can embed an HTML file along with all of its images into one MIME container.
> When viewing the container, the viewer (a person in this case) has to view the HTML file and each
> image alone, not together.
> 
> For sure this can help in Boris's case, but it is not complete. There is a lack of some
> specification of how to link a MIME part to other MIME parts. By doing so, a MIME viewer (a tool
> in this case), will be able to fetch some MIME parts and display them inside another MIME part of
> the same MIME container.
> 
> Any thoughts on this?

I have to admit I am not too familiar with MIME: is it suitable for use
outside the context of email?  I do notice that "Mail" is part of the
name.

If MIME is appropriate for things like archival on a filesystem, then it
seems that some kind of specification like you mentioned would be
useful.  What would be the relative advantages and disadvantages of
using multipart MIME as opposed to a file archiving file format like
.zip or .tar?

Using a file archiving format would be dirt simple to implement: you
would just extract the files to a temporary directory and treat that
directory as the root directory for references inside the html
document.  For example, if the html document contained:

<img src="/someimage.gif">

...it would look for "someimage.gif" in the root directory of the
archive.

I don't know enough about multipart MIME to analyze how it would work
using multipart MIME together with some kind of specification of how to
link between parts.

Josh
Received on Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:13:04 GMT

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