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Re: Content Sniffing impact on HTTPbis - #155

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 14:00:35 +0200
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <ou2a25hso81qnis2oromd98ncnmvgspsk7@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Mark Nottingham wrote:
>Are you referring to this:
>> The entity-header field "Content-Type" indicates the media type of  
>> the entity-body sent to the recipient or, in the case of the HEAD  
>> method, the media type that would have been sent had the request  
>> been a GET.
>in p3 5.9?
>If so, I think you're reading too much into 'indicates', and IIRC this  
>discussion has been had on list before. The question is not what  
>defines the media type, it's what an application can or cannot do with  
>that information once the indication is available.

I believe RFC 2616 uses the word "indicate" to mean "define", "specify";
the part you quoted for example is immediately preceded by "an entity-
body SHOULD include a Content-Type header field defining the media type
of that body." That would not be possible if the Content-Type header, if
present, did not define the media type.

It seems to me that all the original text said is that the HTTP layer
must report the media type as specified in the Content-Type header to
the next layer. What that layer does with the information is out of
scope of the HTTP specification. In that I agree with you on what the
issue really is.

A viable alternative to your proposals might, then, be to replace the
whole paragraph in question by (removing any "sniffing" discussion):

   Any HTTP/1.1 message containing an entity-body SHOULD include a
   Content-Type header field defining the media type of that body.
   How the media type of the entity-body affects the behavior of
   higher-level applications is out of scope of this specification.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
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Received on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 12:01:06 UTC

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