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Re: Does it matter? (was Re: .rdf file extension security?)

From: Phil Archer <phil.archer@icra.org>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 15:53:21 -0000
Message-ID: <004e01c50a08$95681690$53276551@PHILXP>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

Thanks again,

What I've decided to do for now is to create a "proper" .rdf extension and 
MIME type. If the user chooses to use the RDF label generator's FTP actions 
then all well and good. If a .rdf file is rejected (and that's true of 
uk.geocities.com servers for instance) or if the file is uploaded 
successfully but can't be retrieved with an HTTP request (true of IIS in 
default configuration), then the system tries with a .xml file and MIME 

If the user chooses a manual upload then I give them .rdf and (when I've 
written them will) give them instructions on what to do.

(See www.icra.org/RDF/label/generator/ if interested. Currently in beta 

Yes, it's an easy thing to configure your server to handle RDF if you know 
what you're doing. But, if you're a hobby webmaster or someone who creates 
web pages without knowing anything about something as exotic as HTML (and 
that's a lot of webmasters!) then it would be a huge block on take-up of 
self-labelling for child protection or any other reason if such 
configuration were an absolute requirement.

The tool/filters that will look for the data will take a similarly open view 
with an "if at first you don't succeed looking for .rdf, try looking for any 
old XML instead approach."


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@sidar.org>
To: "Phil Archer" <phil.archer@icra.org>; <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 3:05 PM
Subject: Re: Does it matter? (was Re: .rdf file extension security?)

> On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:31:56 -0000, Phil Archer <phil.archer@icra.org> 
> wrote:
>> Whilst it is easy for a professional to add a MIME type to a server, for 
>> hobby webmasters (and, let's be honest, a lot of "professional web 
>> designers") this is well beyond what can be expected..
> Well, I do think it is important that a minimal amount of learning be 
> suggested. Just like explaining why it is important to provide information 
> about content in the first place, explaining how to get this right is 
> probably a valuable investment in smarter use of the web.
>> So, the question is, does it make a practical difference if an RDF/XML 
>> instance is in a file with a .xml extension and a MIME type of 
>> application/xml, rather that nicely in a file with a .rdf extension and 
>> a MIME type of application.rdf+xml?
> Well, it depends on lots of things. application/xml is just generic, 
> almost as bad as the octet-stream that lots of servers seem to think might 
> be useful information (it isn't. It is equivalent to saying "no idea - you 
> figure it out").
> In a case where an application has a link to a particular file (resource) 
> and expects to process it in a certain way, so long as there is nothing 
> saying it can't be processed like that there should be no problem. 
> application/xml doesn't say whether something is RDF or not, but there 
> seems no reason not to look and see if you expect that something is RDF.
> But I think best practice would most certainly be to configure servers 
> properly - it really isn't very difficult if people know what to do or ask 
> for.
> I hope that is helpful...
> cheers
> Chaals
> -- 
> Charles McCathieNevile - Vice Presidente - Fundacion Sidar
> charles@sidar.org                      http://www.sidar.org
>     (chaals is available for consulting at the moment)
Received on Thursday, 3 February 2005 15:54:30 UTC

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