Re: <PRE tab-width=4> (Thumbs Down)

Marc Salomon (
Fri, 27 Jan 95 14:39:56 EST

> From: Terry Allen <>
> Dan says
> >For example, if there's a postscript file on an FTP server out there
> called "report_127," you effectively can't link to it given today's
> web.
> But doesn't that mean simply that not enough info is being sent
> about the file by the server, or that the client isn't smart enough?
> Putting a content-type att on <A> seems like a fragile solution
> to the problem, as it shifts responsibility to the author of
> the doc, who is in most cases just a poor dumb human.

Agreed. It took me a few hours to incorporate code from file(1) into the
NCSA httpd so that it can check the magic number of a file (and set the
content-type: accordingly) before sending the file out. There is no reason
for the web to continue to rely on solely filename overloading conventions of
an archaic operating system. It can provide clues as to content-type in the
absence of other, mnore reliable information, but it is by no means a robust

Including a hard-wired content-type in a link seems to defeat the purpose of
the HTTP negotiation algorithm, although, as in overloading the filename, it
can be of utility when all else fails.