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

Terry Allen (
Fri, 27 Jan 95 16:32:51 EST

Keith Corbett writes:
>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.

I can't see why. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Any typo,
and you're hosed. Is there not an HTTP means of acquiring
file type info about a target before fetching the whole thing?
And what in the world do you mean by
"an attribute is easier to parse than a URL/filename"? In SGML,
in HTTP?

Let the transport mechanisms identify the file type. Keep a clean
interface with HTML. Put the information where it's needed, not
where humans have to discover it, encode it, enter it, and
risk screwing it up.

Terry Allen  (   O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Editor, Digital Media Group    101 Morris St.
			       Sebastopol, Calif., 95472
monthly column at:

A Davenport Group sponsor. For information on the Davenport Group see or