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   RE: MIME types vs. DOCTYPE (was RE: ANNOUNCE: New XHTML WD)

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: "xml mailing list" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>, <www-html-editor@w3.org>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 08:50:39 -0500 (EST)

Jonathan Borden writes:

 > David Megginson wrote:

 > >  Isn't it easier to identify the resource type externally so
 > > that it can be handed directly to the correct processor?

 > Assuming that HTML is defined in XML, then isn't the correct
 > processor the XML processor? text/xml correctly identifies the
 > content-type. If you make an exception for the specific XHTML DTD
 > then why not for every DTD!

But I do think that you should make an exception for every document
type -- text/xml should just be a fallback, when all else has failed.

Why should there be a single processor to handle everything that
happens to be encoded in XML?  I don't have a single compiler for
every programming language that happens to use ASCII, or a single
application that processes any data that arrives in a zip file.

If I have a vector graphic format that happens to use XML, I want to
pass it off to a vector-graphic processor; if I have a browsable
document, I want to pass it off to a browser; if I have a 3D world, I
want to pass it off to a 3D renderer; if I have an e-commerce
transaction, I want to pass it off to my order-processing application;
etc., etc.

I can imagine many circumstances where parsing the XML first to figure
out what it is could be useful, but if it is already possible to know
the type, then doing so is very wasteful.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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