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

From: Jeremy Dunck <ralinon@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2003 09:21:29 -0600
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <BAY1-F221X7zPXwqZWP00006e7f@hotmail.com>

>From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
>
>At 5:58 AM -0500 1/9/03, Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
>
>>The main failure within the current world of content negotiation is that 
>>you
>>have no way to say "I want a specific representation of a resource" from 
>>the
>>application level.
<snip>
>
>Just throwing something out: Would it be A. Useful? and B. possible? to add 
>  additional attributes to linking elements to specify the MIME type 
>required? e.g.
>
><a href="foo/" type="text/plain">foo</a>
><img src="http://maps.yahoo.com/map?zip=10003" type="image/svg+xml" />


I think that the server is the only practical final arbiter of the 
representation delivered for a particular URI, and while it may be useful 
for the UA to provide hints (like the Accept header!), the UA can't 
(practically) have complete control over the representation.

I think there's value in providing hints, but only if there is no URI that 
directly identifies the representation you're specifically after.

>and  perhaps for language as well:
>
><a href="foo/" type="text/plain" lang="en-US; en-CA; en-GB; fr-FR">foo</a>
>
>I think language and MIME type are the two big ones that need to be 
>negotiated. Character set and content encoding can fairly easily be 
>transformed on the client side if necessary.

There's also time.

Finally, unless I've misunderstood MIME types (including their purpose, and 
their registration requirements), I think that MIME is becoming less 
relavent in a more-XML world.

I've not yet read Simon's referenced documents on proposals to deal with 
this.  I think I'll go do that now.  :)

  -Jeremy

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Received on Thursday, 9 January 2003 10:22:01 GMT

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