Re: proposed registration of type 'text/html' for MIME

Tim Berners-Lee (
Thu, 12 Nov 92 17:19:16 +0100

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 92 17:19:16 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-Id: <>
To: Edward Vielmetti <>
Subject: Re: proposed registration of type 'text/html' for MIME

> Here's the form for registering 'text/html' partly filled in, from RFC
> 1341.

> I don't think this needs a ton of work, just to fill in a few of the
> references.  As we get some operations experience with it (and some
> applications support!) I could imagine putting more frobs on it.  Not
> yet tho.

OK, good idea. Here is a 2nd draft.  I have changed:

We restrict it to 7 bit, any 8 bit use is cheating and causes unpredictable  
things to happen. SGML provides for funny character encoding like &eacute; and  
things. We could also make the base character set a parameter (for the Fins).

Should we put a limit on line length? Do we need one to prevent an
encoding system from being mandatory for all HTML documents?

I have put a ref to the HTML spec rather than the HTTP spec. I'll
upgrade that to include the DTD and make it more RFCish (70 characters wide and  
stuff ;-)

Subject:  Registration of new MIME content-type/subtype text/html

MIME type name: 

MIME subtype name: 

Required parameters: 

Optional parameters: 

	left open for future study.  

	Any additional parameters should match up with existing HTML
	constructs, so that e.g. the parameter
		title="Making links in the web"
	would be functionally equivalent to an HTML preamble of
		<title>Making links in the web</title>
Encoding considerations:

	HTML text should be restricted to ASCII printable characters
	unless an extended character set is specfified in an
	optioinal parameter (subject for future study). There is no
	limit on line length.

Security considerations:

	HTML documents may contain embedded information used to 

	instruct browsers and viewers to execute queries on remote
	databases.  Some HTML browsers have included support for
	embedded command languages.  Such facilities should be used
	with care.

Published specification:

	"Hypertext Markup Language", Tim Berners-Lee, CERN, 1992. 

	available as
	or as by anonymous FTP from

  See also:
	"The HTTP Protocol as Implemented in W3", avaiable for
	anonymous ftp from  

	Describes the HTTP interactive access protocol and the tags used
	in HTML documents.
	"The WWW Book", from

	"Universal Document Identifiers on the Network", OSI-DS-XXX,
	available by anonymous FTP from{txt,ps}.

Person & email address to contact for further information:

	Tim Berners-Lee, CERN, 1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland