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RE: Suggestion on application/soap{+xml} media type attribute

From: Williams, Stuart <skw@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 13:05:02 -0000
Message-ID: <5E13A1874524D411A876006008CD059F1927B1@0-mail-1.hpl.hp.com>
To: "'Henrik Frystyk Nielsen'" <henrikn@microsoft.com>, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: XML dist app <xml-dist-app@w3c.org>
Hi Henrik,

This looks good to me as long as the intention is that OPTIONAL means
optional for the sender of a message (basically same debate that we had over
making SOAPAction OPTIONAL). This is consistent with being a "hint", ie.
correct operation would still occur in the absense of such an OPTIONAL hint,
however use of the (correct) hint may lead to more efficient processing of a
message by a recipient.

[Aside: Consideration of 'bogus' hints takes us to the place you noted  you
didn't want to go in your final paragraph.]


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen [mailto:henrikn@microsoft.com]
> Sent: 02 December 2001 17:24
> To: Mark Baker
> Cc: XML dist app
> Subject: Suggestion on application/soap{+xml} media type attribute
> While changing the MIME media type for SOAP messages to either
> "application/soap+xml" or "application/soap", here is something that we
> might consider in moving forward regardless of which direction we take.
> As discussed at length on various mailing lists, the main purpose of the
> SOAPAction header field is to indicate the *type* of the SOAP message
> using a URI rather than a centrally registered mechanism such as a media
> type. This was expressed in a fluffy way as "intent".
> The reason for this is to enable MIME/RFC 822-based applications to be
> able to get an OPTIONAL hint about what the SOAP message contains
> without having to parse the SOAP message. As hints go, this 
> is useful in the same way the MIME content type is useful.
> The reason for introducing SOAPAction header field was to avoid many of
> the apparent problems in mixing media type formats with URIs in general.
> One reason for this was that the media type for XML was "text/xml" with
> only one attribute (charset).
> As we are now defining a new media type, we no longer have this
> constraint. Therefore, I suggest we consider defining an OPTIONAL media
> type attribute as part of our new media type that can contain this
> information, something like this:
> 	application/soap+xml; action="http://www.example.org/foo"
> If we go this way we can in fact GET RID OF SOAPAction HTTP header field
> altogether and make the link between the media type explicit hence
> avoiding some of the confusion.
> Note that it is NOT the purpose of this mail to bring up the discussion
> of whether the information can be trusted, used for dispatch, carried in
> the SOAP message itself, or anything else - it is STRICTLY a suggestion
> for defining a SOAP media type attribute. The defining text will of
> course take into account security concerns as any media type 
> has to do.
> Comments?
> Henrik Frystyk Nielsen 
> mailto:henrikn@microsoft.com 
Received on Monday, 3 December 2001 08:05:18 UTC

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