default return is "text/html"?

Larry Masinter (
Wed, 13 Jul 1994 20:39:20 +0200

Since content-type: is optional on the return value from a HTTP GET,
the spec should say what the default is. I propose that the spec say
that the default is text/html. (The spec currently doesn't say, as far
as I can tell). This corresponds closely to the original spirit of
HTTP 0.9 (where everything was text/html), is the presumption of
Mosaic, and could easily be of Lynx, and it's better to have a

HTTP servers probably should try to include a content-type: text/html
anyway, if that's what they mean.