About MIME types


If I have a GIF document and follow the GIF specs, I will be able to decode
it, same thing for JPEG, same for PNG. Even proprietary formats like word
or word perfect are predictable. Can we say the same for the HTML MIME

The question is: In the real world, is HTML still a standard or a child
split between two possessives parents? I Refer here to Netscape and

It seems more and more that the HTML MIME type is getting more and more
like a language with multiple dialects, the dialects being the living
language, the standard something looking like Latin and old Greek.

In the real world we don't talk about the HTML MIME type we talk about the
Microsoft version, the Netscape version, the W3 version.

Like in middle ages, what can the pope do when kings fight for more lands,
what W3 can do when vendors wants more market share?

OK, enough analogies, the fact is: the HTML MIME type or HTML language is
no longer a standard, it is, in the real world, a symbol representing
multitude or more simply, duality. My suggestion is to bring back some
realism by having a "MHTM" MIME type for Microsoft and a "NHTM" for
Netscape, and finally HTM or HTML for W3 specs. This would, at least, say
the real thing.

So, if I access a Microsoft Hypertext document and it is tagged as a MHTM
MIME type I know that I will have to refer to Microsoft specs. If I access
a NHTM document, in the same vein, I know that I deal with a Netscape
hypertext document. And finally, if I get a HTM or HTML document, I know
this is a document following the consortium specs.

Why not let have the MIME type classification get its full sense in this
non sense situation?
Why not call apples apples and oranges oranges?

What do you think?

Didier PH Martin

Received on Monday, 14 April 1997 10:38:04 UTC