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RE: Microsoft's "I mean it" content-type parameter

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 10:42:17 -0400
To: "'William A. Rowe, Jr.'" <wrowe@rowe-clan.net>, "'Robert Collins'" <robertc@robertcollins.net>
Cc: "'Julian Reschke'" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "'HTTP Working Group'" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00f301c8dd1a$fe0863b0$fa192b10$@com>

> It would be very fun to see the example they cite, I sincerely doubt they
> exist to any legitimate extent today.  Our friends crawling the web could
> probably give us hard numbers.  I suspect the short history goes;
>   * some folks start serving files over http:, associate .html with text/html
>   * 1000's download ms authoring tools to create default.htm files
>   * 100's uploading to these "ancient" servers discover they render as either
>     binary/octet-stream or text/plain
>   * MS fixes their client to display .htm files as html
> Interestingly, they don't work around the fact that all of these servers are
> also configured to serve index.html and not default.htm.  If they relied on
> the administrators to fix one side of the coin...

William -

There are tons of legitimate use cases here they you have completely overlooked. For example, lots of server side applications throw out content of a type different from what their file extension would indicate. For example, the earliest "hit counter" programs were .cgi or .pl files (typically) generating image/gif or image/jpeg content. The Web servers were set up explicitly to serve the output of those applications as text/html. And a great many developers had no idea that they needed to change the Content-type at the code level to make this work. Content sniffing made life easier for these developers. Indeed, Content-disposition is a brutally critical header for any developer making, say, a file download application that actually spews forth the bits itself instead of performing a redirection.

Received on Thursday, 3 July 2008 14:43:32 UTC

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