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Re: TAG ACTION-407 -- text/html media type and legacy

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 12:14:14 +0100
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com" <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f5b7ho2e5q1.fsf@calexico.inf.ed.ac.uk>
Hash: SHA1

Ian Hickson writes:

> To help evaluate the above suggestion, could I ask for a brief summary of 
> the problems that the above changes are intended to address?

Section 12.1 is in effect a media type registration, and as such
should follow the guidelines for such from the IETF.  In particular,
it is an update of an existing registration, and the IETF has
guidelines for that case as well.  The proposed changes are directed
at bringing the section in to line with those guidelines.

In particular, the IETF guidelines are intended to guarantee the
status of legacy documents doesn't change _with respect to the media
type_.  That is, it is perfectly OK for a new version of a language
specification to change what is and is not allowed -- HTML 4 did this,
and so does HTML5, and that's just fine.  What is _not_ OK is for a
media type registration to as it were blacklist the _serving_ of
legacy content as the same media type it has been served with in the

Against that background, the proposed changes basically try to make
the section more like an update to its predecessor, RFC 2854, by

 1) Incorporating an updated version of the RFC's historical

 2) Making clear that continuing to serve documents as text/html is OK
    even if the documents concerned are not conformant to this
    specification, but that they will be interpreted according to this

Hope this helps,

- -- 
       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
                Fax: (44) 131 651-1426, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                       URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:14:54 UTC

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