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RE: Media Type Sub-Sub-types?

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 17:25:39 -0700
To: Story Henry <henry.story@bblfish.net>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D2ABE8810@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
> David Lewis in Language and Languages: 

Is this a book? article? Would appreciate a reference.

> I would not call that "an indication of intent", because I don't think
> one should tie meaning to intention. It is better to keep these separate.

I'm not sure how this fits. Especially when we add security considerations
to web analysis, authority really matters, and reasoning about "meaning"
without being specific about "to whom" leads to system designs which
are susceptible to forgery.  So I think "speech acts" is a better framework
from which to approach language. 

What is the role of a content-type header in HTTP or email? What
is the purpose, how do we add new values there, or change the meaning
of, say, content-type: text/html ?

In this context, people put up (HTTP) or send (mail) content with a label,
having some expectations about how a wide variety of devices will behave
when they get that content, and a further (perhaps vaguer) expectation
as to how newer devices and software will continue to respond in the

The content-type (including the MIME type or Internet Media Type, plus
additional parameters) provided is one way that the creator / sender
signals something...  Posting an email or serving a HTTP response
is a communication act.

We're talking about computer languages, not natural languages, of course,
except that HTML has more "natural language" aspects than the typical
computer language because of the large and varied population of both
speakers (people who write web pages) and readers (people running browsers
from many sources, versions, configurations).

> There is something that one may very well want to add concerning "indication of meaning",
> and that would be the equivalent of speech acts - perhaps we should call that 
> document acts . IE: is the document serious, a joke, is it binding, a caricature,
> an insinuation....

> Notice that in natural languages when makes a joke, he is not speaking
> a different language. He is speaking the same language, but his attitude
> to the proposition is different.

> I'll have to read the articles below

The first link was a little misleading, but you might look at:


briefly for some context from the archiving point of view.
Received on Tuesday, 6 April 2010 00:26:17 UTC

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