Re: Format Negociation in Practice

Dave Raggett (
Wed, 2 Nov 1994 13:46:34 +0100

Tony Sanders writes (25 Oct)

> HTML with tables should not be called text/html, it should be something
> like ``x-html-tbl''. As I previously posted it will be nigh impossible
> to sort out dozens of different independent formats (tables, math, figures,
> etc) collected under a single text/html umbrella. It will never fly.

This is one of the reasons for a clean versioning scheme, e.g.

Accept: text/html; version=3.0

Any browser that sends this in their request would be guaranteeing that it
can handle tables, math, figures, etc. as defined in the IETF ratified RFC.

By keeping HTML 3.0 clean and simple, we can make this broad interoperability
a reality. Any browsers that don't include the version number would be assumed
to lack support for 3.0. In this way servers can provide down graded HTML 2.0
documents to older clients. Is anyone interested in helping to write a filter
for 3.0 -> 2.0?

(Less talk and more work :)

Best wishes,

Dave Raggett

p.s. we may want to specify a range of version numbers, so that the client can inform servers the earliest and latest versions of html it supports. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hewlett Packard Laboratories email: Filton Road, Stoke Gifford tel: +44 272 228046 Bristol BS12 6QZ fax: +44 272 228003 United Kingdom