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[p3-payload] Media-Type -- Two Values, One Cup Anti-Pattern?

From: Ray Polk <raypolk@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 01:59:10 -0700
Message-ID: <CABqtACa2w0LtnfaAtiFNxbSsDVAwkEzARmMw3C0iq-635ErTuA@mail.gmail.com>
To: ietf-http-wg@w3.org

I had a question about the evolution of media types.

Early media types constrained themselves strictly to describing the format
(syntax) of the representation (image/png, application/xml).  As time wore
on, though, media types sprang up that contained both syntactic & semantic
type information (see the application/vnd.openxmlformats-*+xml series for
an example).  Negative ramifications seem obvious (add json, yaml => m*n
types, parsing, querying, ...); in fact, in other contexts (DB & object
fields), placing two values into a single cup/bucket is such a basic
mistake with such obvious drawbacks, it's rarely even discussed as an issue.

Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Media types of this sort are being created to solve a problem, though.  I
believe they may indicate an unsatisfied need to specify not only syntactic
type, but also semantic type in a uniform way.  Which would present the
more uniform interface?

   - Each implementer creating custom headers & custom registries for these
   data types
   - Header & registry defined by a fantastic standards body :-)

At any rate, thanks for all your hard work & genius.  Apologies if this
isn't the proper forum/format/approach/timing/anythingelse.

Received on Friday, 6 January 2012 08:59:38 UTC

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