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obeying the protocol

From: William F. Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 12:32:09 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200004061632.MAA09832@hilbert.math.albany.edu>
To: www-talk@w3.org
Cc: onank@kanald.com.tr
Usal Onan KARAGOZOGLU <onank@kanald.com.tr> writes to www-talk@w3.org
on Thu, 6 Apr 2000 16:10:08 +0300:

> What does the extension *.stm stand for? And what does it do?

Suffixes have NO MEANING across the network.  Most end-user clients
(i.e., browsers) offer a page-information function so that a user can
determine the content-type of an item served through http.

That topic is, in fact, not appropriate for this list.

But perhaps it *is* appropriate for me, with slight change of topic,
to complain about a user client (which I happened to find on a piece
of hardware purchased new three months ago) disregarding the http
content-type header in favor of what it perceived as a "suffix" in a

Misbehavior is compounded into absurdity by the nature of this
particular inferred suffix, which is ".sgml" served with content-type
"text/plain", and, which, apparently, this client thinks is something
it knows how to render as other than text/plain, with the result that
much of the text/plain content is lost.

I tolerated this when I saw it in 1996, but it has been wrong since
the dawn of HTTP/1.0, and I find it outrageous now.

Beyond that I believe that there is a tacit understanding that no
general purpose user client will ever get any closer to internal
handling of "text/sgml" than for internal handling of "text/xml".

Isn't that exactly why XML is sponsored by W3C?
It should never be assumed that "text/sgml" is "text/xml".

Absent user (or site) client configuration for an external
application, an item served as "text/sgml" should be reported as not
renderable and the user offered a "download".

And let's hope that user clients in general avoid being territorial
about "text/xml" by always honoring a user (or site) configuration of
an external application for that content-type.

William F. Hammond                   Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics
518-442-4625                                  The University at Albany
hammond@math.albany.edu                      Albany, NY 12222 (U.S.A.)
http://www.albany.edu/~hammond/                Dept. FAX: 518-442-4731

Never trust an SGML/XML vendor whose web page is not valid HTML.
And always support affirmative action on behalf of the finite places.
Received on Thursday, 6 April 2000 12:32:39 UTC

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