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Re: Wrong MIME type for XML DTDs

From: William F. Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 13:37:03 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200107291737.f6THb3706237@pluto.math.albany.edu>
To: www-talk@w3.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org
(Follow-up to www-talk@w3.org)

Content type issues -- apart from the definition of HTML-related
content types to the extent envisioned in RFC 2854, "The 'text/html'
Media Type" (which explicitly refers discussion to www-html@w3.org) --
belong either at IETF or, when about questions of WWW
interoperability, in www-talk@w3.org.  Issues related to RFC 3023 do
not belong in www-html.

Is there any actual loss of functionality created by the W3C choice
of "text/plain" in the cited instance of its HTTP-served DTD for
"XHTML 1.0 Strict" ?  That is, what is envisioned after a change to
"application/xml-dtd" that is not, in fact, working now?

I rather imagine that RFC 3023 idea might be truly useful in EDI
contexts where HTTP URI's are strictly for end consumption by robots.

                                    -- Bill

> From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
> To: www-html@w3.org
> Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 06:46:11 +0200
...
>   % http-head http://www.w3.org/TR/html/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd
>   HTTP/1.1 200 OK
>   Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 04:42:57 GMT
>   Server: Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) PHP/3.0.11
...
>   Content-Type: text/plain; qs=0.4
> 
> This should be application/xml-dtd according to RFC 3023. I've just
. . .

> From: "William F. Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
> Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 08:23:52 -0400 (EDT)
> To: www-html@w3.org
> ...
> I disagree.
> 
> The content provider's choice of "text/plain" is wise in this case.
> 
> If someone browsing goes for it, that individual wants to read it.
> That is text/plain consumption of the resource.
> 
> If an application, say, something using the SP library or Perl
> LPW, grabs it, the combined effect of information provided by the
> user and the application's author already provides the context
> the application needs if it is to be used as an XML DTD.  This is,
. . .

> From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
> Cc: www-html@w3.org
> Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 17:36:35 +0200
...
> application/xml-dtd does not prevent this.

For most users it is an obstacle.

> ...                                        If the user wants to read
> documents labeld as applicatoon/xml-dtd, he should configure his browser
> accordingly. That's how HTTP works; to mislable content as text/plain is

"text/plain" is not a mislabeling just because it is not specific.
The logic of calling it a mislabeling leads to the absurd idea that a
Computer Science professor ought to be forbidden from serving
didacticly offered Perl code as "text/plain".

The existing content types are not primarily for classification.
Rather they exist for the purpose of enabling agreed types of
automatic response on remote platforms.

And we have all been witnesses to the danger of overly enthusiastic
use.

                                    -- Bill
Received on Sunday, 29 July 2001 13:37:16 GMT

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