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Re: Propsed new issue: variability of encoding in Miffy

From: Anish Karmarkar <Anish.Karmarkar@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 11:37:10 -0800
Message-ID: <3FE0B066.6080406@oracle.com>
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: "Xml-Dist-App@W3. Org" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>

[Discussion moved to xml-dist-app from xlmp-comments]


Not sure what you meant by '... labeled as application/octet-stream ...'.

My understanding is that, we have agreed that the MIME parts may have 
Content-Type other than application/octet-stream (although that is the 
default). For example, I may want to indicate that the binary data being 
sent is image/jpeg or text/plain.

Looking at RFC 2045, the default value for content-transfer-encoding is 
"7-bit". If in our spec we are not going to allow variability for 
content-transfer-encoding (for non-root parts), then we must require 
that each MIME part that is referenced from the root part must have the 
content-transfer-encoding MIME header with a value of 'binary' (least 

This might be a problem for more restrictive transports that require 
7-bit clean data (SMTP). Also, my understand of MIME is that it is very 
"un-MIME"-like to restrict content-transfer-encoding. But, I am not a 
MIME expert, so I will let the experts on the list comment on this.

I am not too worried about interop as there are only 5 well-known 
content-transfer-encodings (7bit, 8bit, binary, quoted-printable, 
base64) + the extensible X-myproprietary-encoding.



noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:

> This is in fulfillment of an action item that I took on today's call to
> request openning of an action item.
> I had always assumed that in Miffy, all the parts except the root would be
> octet streams, probably labeled as application/octet-stream and sent in
> 8-bit format.  Anish mentioned on the call today his assumption that a
> range of representations would be allowed on the wire, providing that
> content-transfer-encoding would be correctly set to indicate the
> representation used.
> The tradeoffs appear to be:  a) variability is more flexible b) variability
> requires that all receivers/interpreters be capable of decoding all
> encodings if universal interop is to be achieved c) neither of us was sure
> whether the decision to fix the representation might be taken as a misuse
> of MIME.
> The purpose of this note is to request that we open an issue to resolve
> these questions.
> --------------------------------------
> Noah Mendelsohn
> IBM Corporation
> One Rogers Street
> Cambridge, MA 02142
> 1-617-693-4036
> --------------------------------------
Received on Wednesday, 17 December 2003 14:37:15 UTC

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