Re: server setting the content-type (Jon E. Mittelhauser)
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 93 12:58:34 CST
From: (Jon E. Mittelhauser)
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re:  server setting the content-type
Content-Length: 1827
>- In mosaic, an HTML file named "foo" will display as
>formatted text if it contains a <TITLE> tag.

This is only true of the X-Windows version (and maybe Mac) and is the result of
a hack that Marc threw in back in HTTP/0.9 days.  In my opinion,
it is a bug and I have told Marc and Eric such.  The windows
version does not try to out-guess the server.  If a HTTP/1.0 server
returns type text/plain, we display it as plain text even if it
contains HTML.  I consider this to be the correct behavior.  The
upshot, of course, is that we repeatedly get bug reports that "this
file works in the X-version but not in the windows version".  The fact
is, the server is telling us that it is plain text so we are displaying
it as such.

>- In lynx, such a file will be interpreted as text and
>display the HTML tags.  In order for it to be shown as
>formatted text, I had to change my server's srm.conf file to:
>DefaultType text/html

This is the correct behavior.  The server in (HTTP/1.0) should be
doing all the typing.  This enables a person to put a document up
that shows source HTML via typing it as text/plain.  The X version
of Mosaic will always display it as formatted HTML...

>so that the delivered document has the proper Content-type
>header for HTML.  But that means text files will be
>interpreted as HTML also and not display properly.

>We have good reasons not to add ".html" to each
>HTML document, but we also don't want to add .txt
>to every text document.  

If you have files with identical extensions, you are going to have to
tell the server on a file (or directory) basis what the type is...


Jon E. Mittelhauser (
Research Programmer, NCSA                          (NCSA Mosaic for MS Windows)
More info <a href="">here</a>