W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2002

Re: Media types

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:20:09 -0800
Message-ID: <3C448EF9.79DAE722@prescod.net>
To: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn@rbii.com>
CC: www-tag@w3.org
Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> ...
> It really doesn't matter what the specifications say.  

If we're trying to answer the question of whether X conforms to type Foo
then it depends on the definition of Foo. In this case the
specifications are the definition.

> ... You have to
> associate a processor (read interpreter) with the document before it
> makes sense one way or another. If I run an XHTML processor over it,
> it will try to interpret it as such. If I run an XSLT processor over
> it, it will try to interpret it as such. If I try to run a JSP
> processor over it, it will try to interpret it as such.

Certainly. But only one of those processors will succeed in processing
the document correctly so the question of how to choose the correct
processor is vital. That's why HTTP delivers documents with a MIME
types. So the question is, should the MIME type be inferred from the
root namespace, some list of namespaces, or completely independent?

> There is nothing in the document that would force a choice one way or
> the other. Claims that the outermost element should be the thing that
> dictates the processing are misguided IMNSHO.... as I have yet to see
> a truly universal processor capable of the infinite ways of processing
> an XML file we might come up with.

I don't understand what you are saying. Nobody is talking about a
universal processor. What I'm hearing is that people want to sniff the
namespace (either from the MIME header or the XML itself) and then
*choose* an XML processor based on the namespace. XSLT stylesheets with
an HTML root-element are one example where this would not work.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2002 15:25:49 UTC

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