NOTATION/MIME (was Re: Recent XML WG decisions)

Peter Murray-Rust Peter at
Sat Sep 13 13:28:29 BST 1997

In message <199709130538.WAA07282 at> Jon.Bosak at eng.Sun.COM (Jon Bosak) writes:
[... decision of XML-WG omitted...]
>  2. Chris Maden's suggestion that NOTATION System Identifiers 
>  should be mime types.  The WG liked the idea, but declined to 
>  modify the spec to achieve tihs effect; among other things,
>  URLs and mime types are not syntactically distinguishable.  It
>  was the feeling of the group that it would be desirable that a 
>  new URL scheme be created to allow a URL to locate a mime type.

I am not wanting to re-open this discussion/decision, but I'd be very
grateful for clarification as to how a SytemID is used to identify the
type of a NOTATION. If I wish to identify it as 'image/gif', how do I
do this in practice? Is there a set of URLs that map onto current MIME types,
or is it impossible in XML to state what the MIME type of a NOTATION is?
[If so this is a pity, especially since HTTP, Java, etc. support MIME types.]
If it *is* impossible, how is a URL used with a NOTATION in practice, other 
than simply holding a textual description relating to it.

Does the last sentence mean that the XML-WG hopes to come up with such a
scheme or that some other body (e.g. IETF) may/might do so?


Peter Murray-Rust, domestic net connection
Virtual School of Molecular Sciences

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