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Re: Media types

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 10 Jan 2002 11:21:53 -0600
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org, xml-dist-app@w3.org
Message-Id: <1010683314.19625.10.camel@dirk>
On Wed, 2002-01-09 at 15:16, Mark Baker wrote:
> TAG members,
> 
> The XML Protocol Working Group requests your input regarding media
> types.  We've observed that some W3C working groups are registering
> their own media types (including ourselves), and so had the
> following questions about that;
> 
> Q. 1; What are the general guidelines or policies (if any) for W3C
> working groups in defining their own media types?

Other than the IETF guidelines for anybody on the planet defining
their own media types, I'm not aware of any.

>  Should they be
> defining them at all?

Yes, serveral W3C WG should be defining media types.
(precedent: HTML, CSS, ...)

> Q. 2; If custom media types are required, should there be any
> commonality between them?

I don't know what you mean by "custom media types".

> Q. 3; What is, or what should be, the relationship between a media type
> and an XML namespace?

My thinking on that question always leads me to ratholes...
mostly ratholes around the problems of software installation.
i.e. a MIME type is often used as a key into an index
of locally installed software; when lookup in that index
fails, a global search for suitable software starts.
I can imagine XML namespace names being used similarly.
Of course, when you switch from the local/trusted
context to the global context, it sure is handy
if the index key takes the form of a URI, so that
you've got a handy way to start your search.

Meanwhile, who says there's only one suitable piece
of software for each type of content? In fact,
the whole purpose of declarative markup, to me,
is that it can be consumed by lots of different
sorts of software.

So I don't have an answer for Q3. But it's not
clear to me that the XMLP WG needs one, any
more or less than we all need an answer to, say, world hunger.
If there's some more focussed issue to which you really do
need an answer, please elaborate.


-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 10 January 2002 12:22:13 GMT

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