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Re: Draft of TAG position on use of unregistered media types in W3C Recommendations

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 17:34:01 +0200
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <2jq1c25fpfbo0iib7d1r6r6b40v91amb26@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
>In general, it is desirable that media types and other formats referenced 
>from W3C Recommendations be properly registered with the appropriate 
>authority.  Nonetheless, the TAG recognizes that certain such formats come 
>into widespread use without registration, and that there may also in 
>exceptional circumstances be good reasons for using or experimenting with 
>new formats that are not registered.  Accordingly, the TAG suggests the 
>following guidelines for W3C Recommendations:

According to RFC 4288:

  However, with the simplified registration procedures described above
  for vendor and personal trees, it should rarely, if ever, be
  necessary to use unregistered experimental types.  Therefore, use of
  both "x-" and "x." forms is discouraged.

I also note that:

  The TAG's scope is limited to technical issues about Web architecture.
  The TAG should not consider administrative, process, or organizational
  policy issues of W3C, which are generally addressed by the W3C
  Advisory Committee, Advisory Board, and Team.

>* W3C Recommendations may and indeed should refer to unregistered media 
>types when necessary to meet the needs of users, e.g. when required for 
>proper interaction with widely deployed software.  In such circumstances, 
>it is typically appropriate for the Recommendation itself or for the 
>materials accompanying the submission of the Proposed Recommendation to 
>briefly explain the reason for dependence on an unregistered format.

How about this instead:

  W3C Working Groups must resolve dependencies on unregistered Internet
  Media Types by directly or indirectly registering these types in the
  IANA media type registry. W3C Technical Reports must not encourage or
  require use or implementation of unregistered media types.

How is Web architecture positively affected by following your policy in-
stead of mine? http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2006Jul/0009
discusses how interoperability is negatively affected by your policy.
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
68309 Mannheim · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 
Received on Friday, 21 July 2006 15:34:31 GMT

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