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Revisiting Authoritative Metadata (was: The failure of Appendix C as a transition technique)

From: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 10:22:30 +0100
Message-ID: <512738D6.4050001@w3.org>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
CC: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
On 22/02/2013 08:22 , Larry Masinter wrote:
> Perhaps the TAG finding on "Authoritative metadata" needs to be
> re-reviewed and made into a consensus Req (and sniffing between
> XHTML and HTML disallowed).

I would support the TAG revisiting the topic of Authoritative Metadata, 
but with a view on pointing out that it is an architectural antipattern. 
Information that is essential and authoritative about the processing of 
a payload should be part of the payload and not external to it. Anything 
else is brittle and leads to breakage.

The sniffing behaviour is a consequence of media types as an 
architectural construct, not an alternative to it.

(I say "should", not "must", because in situations in which both end 
points can agree upon a vocabulary then they can exchange information 
more efficiently by dropping essential data.)

Further, I think that the TAG should take this occasion to issue a 
recommendation to people building formats that they include format 
identifying information as essential, typically with a magic number, 
first non-blank line, etc.

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Friday, 22 February 2013 09:22:37 UTC

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