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   Re: How to use binary data with XML?

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  • From: "Jonathan Borden" <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • To: "Roger L. Costello" <costello@mitre.org>, <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 16:21:47 -0400

Roger L. Costello wrote:
>I have a few questions on using binary data (e.g., gif, jpeg images)
>with XML.
>(1)  Binary data isn't actually put in an XML file, correct? i.e., the
>binary data is _not_ inline, correct?  An XML file just contains ASCII
>text, correct?

    Binary data can be embedded inline using base64 encoding. I have placed
a demo of a MIME -> XML converter, XMTP, which demonstrates this at
test-xmtp@jabr.ne.mediaone.net. If you send an E-mail with a binary image
attachment, it will convert the multipart MIME message into XML (with inline
binary parts) and E-mail you back the response.

>(2)  Just like in HTML, binary data is _referenced_ by the XML document,

This article discusses uses of binary data and XML.


>(3) Is this the correct way of using binary data:
><!ENTITY bostonGIF SYSTEM "http://www.maps.com/boston.gif" NDATA gif>
><!ENTITY bostonJPEG SYSTEM "http://www.maps.com/boston.jpeg" NDATA jpeg>
><!ELEMENT map (image)>
><!ATTLIST image
>              src  ENTITY #REQUIRED
>              desc CDATA  #IMPLIED>
>    <image src="bostonGIF"
>           desc="Map of Boston"/>
>Here we see an XML document _referencing_ a file containg binary data.
>The binary data is not actually inline.  Is this how it's done?  /Roger

    With <image src="..."> src refers to a link to an external binary data
object. It is the job of the software which traverses the link to get you
the data. The URL http://www.maps.com/boston.gif will be identified by its
NOTATION internally as well as via its MIME Content-Type: when the link is
traversed via the HTTP protocol.

Jonathan Borden

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