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Re: text/xml for SOAP is incorrect

From: John J. Barton <John_Barton@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 11:18:47 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, mmurata@trl.ibm.co.jp
Cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org, simonstl@simonstl.com, dan@dankohn.com
With all respect to the authors of RFC 3023 (XML Media Types),
binding behavior to representations of Web resources is not
at good engineering direction for Web technologies[1]
A SOAP message is text: it can be read with text tools and
it is encoded as XML so XML parsers can study it and parse
further information without hints.  There should not be a
different media type for XML sent to an "application"
verses one sent to a "browser" (which is just another
application).  The server should not assume the use of
the media representation.

Therefore application/xml is not necessary.  I suppose it
may be to late to turn back from that.  But let us not go
further down the path to application/soap+xml,
application/soap_for_book_buying_and video_buying+xml, etc.
Content-type should describe the media type, not its use,
or provide other information that is elsewhere.

[1] Roy Fielding, "Architectural Styles and the Design of
Network-based Software Architectures",


At 11:59 AM 9/17/2001 -0400, Mark Baker wrote:
> > Dear the XML Protocol WG,
> >
> > As a co-author of RFC 3023 (XML Media Types), I repeat my claim.  Use
> > of text/xml for SOAP is incorrect.  Please use application/xml,
> > instead.
>I assume you're primarily suggesting that text/xml not be used, not that
>application/xml should be used.  I personally believe that
>application/soap+xml is the best choice as it;
>- helps with the migration to application/xml once it can be assumed
>that XML processors dispatch on namespaces (see RFC 3023, last
>paragraph in Sec 3).
>- provides a syntactically cleaner place for holding information
>previously conveyed via SOAPAction (a parameter on the media type,
>which can't be done to application/xml without updating 3023)
>Thanks for bringing this up again, it's an important point.

John J. Barton          email:  John_Barton@hpl.hp.com
MS 1U-17  Hewlett-Packard Labs
1501 Page Mill Road              phone: (650)-236-2888
Palo Alto CA  94304-1126         FAX:   (650)-857-5100
Received on Monday, 17 September 2001 14:30:07 UTC

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