W3C DRAFT W3C TAG Findings of 12 Feb 2002

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This document contains a set of findings representing the consensus of the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG), arrived at on Feb. 12, 2002. These findings were derive from discussion of TAG issue uriMediaType-9.

This is currently a draft document for discussion on the TAG mailing list (archive of www-tag). This document was published by the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). See the complete TAG issues list.

Mapping between URIs and Media Types

Both URIs and media-types are used in various contexts for document type labeling. In many cases where URIs and MIME media types are being used for similar a similar purpose it is desirable to be able to map a URI reference into a MIME media type and vice versa. The existence of an unambigous URI associated with a MIME media type would enable resource description languages, such as RDF to make assertions about media-types.

The W3C TAG is supportive of attempts to establish a single, normative recommendation for mapping between MIME media types [RFC2046] and URI [RFC2396]. In particular the W3C TAG is aware of the work by Donald Eastlake http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-eastlake-cturi-03.txt and is supportive of the direction of this work.

The W3C TAG has a preference that it be possible for URIs resulting from such a mapping to be dereferenceable. In preference to the creation of a new URI scheme, as proposed by Eastlake, the W3C TAG would prefer that MIME media-types map into the HTTP URI scheme with some well-known base URI. The intent being that the act of dereferencing the URI resulting from the mapping may return a document containing human and/or machine readable information about the associated media-type, including references to other sources of human readable and machine readable documentation.

Stuart Williams
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