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   Re: Real XML Site

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  • From: Edd Dumbill <edd@usefulinc.com>
  • To: Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 10:23:46 +0000

On Thu, Dec 14, 2000 at 10:24:53AM +0100, Eric van der Vlist wrote:
> Yes, and also does "GET /some.xml" mean 
> 1) "get the document named 'some.xml'" or
> 2) "get your representation of the document named 'some.xml'" ?
> Case 1) means that no transformation should be done and the raw document
> should be sent.
> In case 2) it is expected that a transformation is done to present the
> document and therefore its type may be changed.
> I personally handle "GET /some.xml" in the second meaning in my sites
> thinking I can give more added value like this...

I agree with Eric, the purpose of HTTP content negotiation being to
determine what format the document so named is returned in.

Sadly for this brave world of standards compliance, we must also reflect
real life concerns, which in this case are:

 * HTTP content negotiation is sparsely implemented
 * Humans get to see URLs in their browser, with the result that the
   URL has become a user interface. Good principles of UI design tend
   to suggest that the suffix indicates a content-type.

So my answer to this is, drop the ".xml" altogether, it's nicer.  This
is what I do with php scripts for example, just a simple Apache rewrite
rule. Who wants to see suffixes everywhere?

-- Edd


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