W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > May 2002

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

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 11:33:09 +0200
Message-ID: <025d01c207bd$0351efb0$2002a8c0@srx41p>
To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

From: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>
> Anyhow, for the moment I stand by the position that sniffing is always
> without exception bad when you're figuring out how to do top-level
> dispatch.  It opens horrible security holes and when breakage does
> occur, it focuses the blame away from where it belongs, namely people
> who screw up in configuring their webservers.

I think this is the major problem: it protects the guilty, and penalises the
innocent.

I have long wanted to be able to write web-based tutorials along these
lines:

    Here is an HTML document to illustrate this technique:
        http://www.cwi.nl/~steven/test/img-test.html
    and here is its source: http://www.cwi.nl/~steven/test/img-test.txt

but I can't, because in IE you get exactly the same results for the two
links (try it on the above). How can I get IE to do the right thing? I
can't! It *always* presents my file served as text/plain as if I had served
it as text/html. It prevents people from doing the right thing...

And if IE thinks your tar archive is an HTML file, well bad luck for you and
your users.

It would be *really really good* if IE offered an option to switch off
content switching, and even a dialogue, so that people could get an idea
that something was wrong:

    This document has been served as text/plain but looks like an HTML file.
    What do you want to do:
        [ ] View it as HTML
        [ ] View it as text

    [ ] Never ask me this question again.

Steven Pemberton
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 05:34:22 UTC

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