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Re: Value of content negotiation? [was RE: content negotiation anti-principle]

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 20:57:55 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <r01050400-1023-9ACEFA5A22AC11D7A6D00003937A08C2@[192.168.124.11]>

ralinon@hotmail.com (Jeremy Dunck) writes:
>The shades of grey are more subtle (and IMO, more important) when you
>start talking about XML documents.  MIME types are really insufficient
>to described multiple-namespaced documents.  At one point, MIME was a
>pretty fine-grained control of what a UA could handle, but the grain
>is getting coarser now.
>
>Sure, you could start creating all kinds of MIME types to emulate the
>underlying requirements of the representation (as all
>application/*+xml MIMEs do, I think), but MIME registration is
>(rightfully) high ceremony, and I think this sort of MIME registration
>pollutes MIME type's usefulness as "an open-ended framework ...[that]
>can accommodate additional object types, character sets, and access
>methods without any changes to the basic protocol." [MIME Type
>Registration]

There are a few possible answers to these problems that may be worth
exploring.  My own proposal uses a different approach, MIME Media
Features:

http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-stlaurent-feature-xmlns-03.txt

This approach gives developers a basic vocabulary for dealing with the
complications of multiple namespaces lurking inside documents of
application/*+xml - though I hardly think it's a complete solution.

Mark Baker offers a different approach, one defining a dispatch behavior
for namespace processing, which is also well-worth considering:

http://www.markbaker.ca/2002/01/draft-baker-generic-xmlns-dispatch-00.
txt

I don't think either of these is particularly well-supported by the
current "content negotiation?  what's that?" approach W3C specs have to
offer at present, but they may at least offer pathways to future
technologies which acknowledge the potentially complicating richness
lurking behind both URIs and XML documents.
-- 
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org
Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 20:57:04 GMT

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