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Re: [xml-dev] Mime type for compound document.

Well, if it is mimetype the then theoretically whatever internet
enabled application is dealing with the resource can hand it over to
the proper process for dealing with that mime type, if not then it
needs to hand it off to an XML application that needs to have logic
for deciding what process should work with the particular type of XML
that it is. I guess this difference is not too important a distinction
anymore, XML is widespread enough now that you could envision a router
based on the namespaces in an instance being hooked in to different
applications, for example into a browser.

But that only really applies to one sort of XML, the sort where the
'meaning' of an XML instance is its document element. Where you can
look at it and say the document element x in the y namespace therefore
I hand it to {y}x. But since this is not mandated one could have a
document that is at the same time an SVG document, an RDF document,
and several other things, since there is as yet no standard (that I am
aware of) for saying in the XML instance what the order of primacy is
for the various namespaces it might be useful for the server serving
the document to be able to inform the client what is considered to be
the primary 'purpose' of the document.

This is just one part of the problem though. The second part of the
problem is content negotiation. Assume you have two applications, one
is an internet capable application that wants to process RDF, perhaps
it is sitting on a server somewhere -
http://www.example.org/rdfacceptingapp and it takes a querystring
parameter of another http address
rdfacceptingapp?url=www.cooldata.org/svgwithrdf/instance2000. Well it
doesn't really help rdfacceptingapp to get inputs that aren't RDF so
how does it know if what it gets will be RDF? well it could send an
accept header, if the application it is contacting happens to output
RDF in its SVG, as the one under discussion in this example does then
the application gets its input data. This is useful but is not in much
use, and most servers don't provide easy ways to take advantage of
this functionality (for some value of easy not defined in the present

Bryan Rasmussen

On Dec 6, 2007 8:29 PM, Dave Pawson <davep@dpawson.co.uk> wrote:
> On the dsdl list, a request arose for
> the mime type for a Schematron document.
> It appears that for compound documents, no one has
> got to grips with mime types as yet.
> The issue is, as  Makoto MURATA  put it,
> A schematron schema can be embedded within NVDL scripts, RELAX NG
> schemas, W3C XML Schema schemas, XProc scripts, and so forth.
> Ken Holman said, intriguingly,
> Hasn't this issue been around since 1999?  I recall the tension
> between the "Internet guys" who believe the MIME type should reveal
> everything without the need to look inside (so
> "application/schematron+xml" or "application/xslt+xml" is necessary)
> and the "XML guys" who believe that XML already has identification
> built in with namespaces when you look inside (so "text/xml" is sufficient).
> I don't believe this was every resolved or could be resolved because
> of the intractable positions of those who do not want to look inside
> of the file and those who don't mind doing so.
> Do we have both 'internet guys' on this list, as well as
> xml guys (and gals I guess)?
> Mime type of the outer wrapper?
> Metadata pointing to the inner variants?
> Other options?
> Intractable? Doubtful.
> Permathread fodder? Possible.
> regards
> --
> Dave Pawson
> http://www.dpawson.co.uk
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