Re: content-type preferences [Was: Re: <PRE tab-width=4> (Thumbs Down) ]

Keith M. Corbett (
Fri, 27 Jan 95 16:18:07 EST

At 11:28 AM 1/27/95 PST, Terry Allen wrote:
>>> <a href="foo.c" content-type="text/tabbed; tab-width=4">foo.c</a>
>This is a *great* idea in terms of HTML. I've been wondering about the http
>side of this issue.
>This is an absolutely wretched idea. Where would you stop? after
>encoding ALL possible style sheet information in the LINK?
> content-type="text/tabbed; tab-width=4
>are properties of the target (the object). Don't encode them in HTML!

Content type has nothing to do with style sheet information. There's a clear
relationship between the utility of a file and its format. From the point of
view of the author, content type may well be a property of the link -- "jump
to the contents of a file of such-and-such a format". Mmore precisely, it is
a property of the document's representation of the client's request to the
server. So under certain circumstances it may be appropriate to encode the
content type in the document.

As I pointed out earlier, Dan's idea does have one drawback by not
accomodating multiple formats - and I do wish someone would explain in 25
words or less how an html author provides input into how http "negotiates"
with clients about content type -- but a content type attribute clearly
beats hardwiring content type based on file extension. For one thing, an
attribute is easier to parse than a URL/filename.