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Re: Proposed TAG Finding: Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use (fwd)

From: Rob Lanphier <robla@real.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 14:12:01 -0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
To: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.43.0205221409060.313-100000@robla350.dev.prognet.com>
This discussion on the www-tag alias may be of interest to the www-qa
group.

For the record, I strongly disagree with the position below (so please
don't misattribute the following to me).

Rob
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 08:52:57 -0700
From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Proposed TAG Finding: Internet Media Type registration,
     	consistency  of use
Resent-Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 11:48:29 -0400 (EDT)
Resent-From: www-tag@w3.org

> http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2002/0129-mime

Interesting if not a bit humorous (unintentionally I'm sure).

This was my favorite part:

  "An example of incorrect and dangerous behavior is a user-agent that reads
some part of the body of a response and decides to treat it as HTML based on
its containing a <!DOCTYPE declaration or <title> tag, when it was served as
text/plain or some other non-HTML type."

Incorrect and dangerous?

While it is a laudable goal to avoid and/or limit sniffing when at all
possible, unsubstantiated comments like these are inflammatory at best, and
horribly naive at worst - given how many HTML (.html etc.) pages are still
served as text/plain. (Nevermind GIFs and other images served as
text/plain).

My second favorite part:

  "Web software SHOULD NOT attempt to recover from such errors by guessing,
but SHOULD report the error to the user to allow intelligent corrective
action."

Typically a user of a web site does not have the ability to correct the
website itself.  Nevermind perform an "intelligent corrective action".
Which usability genius decided that it was a good idea to report errors to
the user that are meaningless to the typical user (typical user has zero
knowledge about mime types) and the user has no chance of fixing?

If a UA did report such errors with a web site, the typical user would take
the corrective action they usually take when errors are reported from a
website, and that is to try a different UA.

Tantek
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 17:10:52 UTC

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