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Content negotiation: a suggestion

From: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 18:18:03 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <199511091718.RAA23333@wsooti05.win.tue.nl>
To: www-talk@w3.org
Cc: koen@win.tue.nl (Koen Holtman)

I just finished reading all new messages in the content negotiation
thread.  I have (so far!) resisted the urge to add my share of
replies, because I want to make a meta-statement about the whole
thread first:

  I fear that this thread is getting a bit too chaotic to be really
  productive.

The thread contains both statements on _what_ to negotiate on and on
_how_ to do it efficiently, usually intertwined in the same message.

I suggest that we separate these two topics as much as possible:

1) if you are discussing something to negotiate on, like
    - mime types
    - HTML rendering capabilities
    - browser bugs
    - ...
   do _not_ at the same time propose a mechanism to implement such
   negotiation efficiently.

2) if you are discussing a content negotiation mechanism that is more
   efficient than 'send 10K of headers every time', like
    - reactive negotiation
    - sending a pointer to a database of browser capabilities
    - <a href=... type=audio/*>...</a>
    - ...
   or if you are discussing something like
    - negotiation vs. caching
    - extensibility of the negotiation mechanism
    - ...
   do _not_ at the same time discuss a particular thing to negotiate on.

In my opinion, issues 1) and 2) could both be resolved a lot more
quickly if kept separate.

Also, I suggest that Subject lines are edited more often, if only for
the sake of the mailing list archives.

One last observation: most of the issues in 2) above really belong on
the http-wg mailing list, not www-talk.  The problem with making an
efficient negotiation mechanism is not a lack of good ideas, the
problem is to take some minimal set of good ideas and put them
together in a clean and unambiguous way.

Koen.
Received on Thursday, 9 November 1995 12:19:15 GMT

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