Encoded XML Content -- was Re: Open Trading Protocol (CDATA, etc)(was BASE64 section support)

Don Park donpark at quake.net
Mon Feb 9 06:32:04 GMT 1998


>From the responses I have gotten from some of the members of the XML-WG, it
is clear that we can't add BASE64 section to the spec.  As you pointed out,
BASE64 section is not helpful enough for XML applications.  Tim suggested
that we write up a proposal for the use of a reserved attribute or namespace
to signal, as a convention in XML 1.0, that the contents of an element are
base64 encoded.  Such a proposal would serve the need right now and could be
adopted by XML 1.1 in the future.

I would like to form a small team to write the proposal.  Since we are
dealing with a focused subject, I would like to fasttrack this proposal.

Let me get the ball rolling with following brief summary of the proposal:

1. Name

Names are important since they serve as mental hooks to hang knowledge.  The
choices I can think of are:

a)    XML-Binary
b)    XML-Blob
c)    Encoded XML Content

I would like to use a short easily understandable name like XML-Binary so
that vendors can say their product supports XML-Binary.

2. Mechanism

I tend to prefer the use of reserved attribute(s) than namespace.  I would
very much like to see something like xml:space attribute used.

For the kind of applications I am familiar with, adding following two
special attributes would be enough:


Should we limit it to base64 and just have xml:encoded attribute with true
and default as possible values?

Should we be using some standard encoding standard names?  Frankly I am not
aware of any such standard (duh!).

Do we need xml:mimetype?  My application sure could use it since I can
fireup a content handler based on the mimetype and pass it the decoded data.
The content handler returns a component which is inserted into the tree to
display the content.

This should be enough get the discussion going.


Don Park

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