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

Rick Jelliffe ricko at
Sun Sep 14 12:26:38 BST 1997

> From: Peter Murray-Rust <Peter at>
> 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?  

Peter asked me to on-post this.

The standard way to stick a MIME type into a system identifier is
given as part of HyTime '97. First we have a notation declaration
(which is really only for documentation, so you don't need it
if you don't want it).

                    FSISM PORTABLE
                    MIME Content Type//EN"><!-- Refer RFC 1700 -->

This notation declaration allows us to use "mimetype" in
Formal System Identifiers, which are system identifiers with
little pseudo-start tags giving the notation used in the rest
of the string. So we can then declare the notation "gif"
to be the mime type "image/gif" by

<!NOTATION gif SYSTEM "<mimetype>Content-Type=image/gif">

A full form for this with both public and system identifiers 
would be 

	"ISBN 0-7923-91::Graphic Notation//NOTATION 
	Compuserve Graphic Interchange Format//EN" 

Presumably you could also stick other MIME parameters in also,
after semicolons, e.g.

<!notation multipart-mime 
	PUBLIC "-//IETF/RFC1521//NOTATION MIME Content Type Multipart Mixed//EN"
	SYSTEM '<mimetype>Content-Type=multipart/mixed;boundary="-- at QQQ@--"'>

(There is also provision of a notation called simply "mime", which
can be used for burrowing into a MIME file for specific parts. )

Rick Jelliffe

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