Apache Charset sniffer

Paul Langer Paul.Langer at softwareag.com
Tue Apr 27 16:48:59 BST 1999

At Tuesday, April 27, 1999 12:53 PM Matthew Sergeant  wrote:

> [snip] 
> If I'm returning application/xml I shouldn't return a charset
>at all - that's up to the end application. I should only return a charset if
>the user wants to return text/xml.
>Is that the consensus on this list?

Please see "XML Media Types" (RFC 2376, http://www.imc.org/rfc2376) and
the related mailing list "ietf-xml-mime" (http://www.imc.org/ietf-xml-mime/).

RFC 2376 says: 
"3.2 Application/xml Registration
     MIME media type name: application
     MIME subtype name: xml
     Mandatory parameters: none
     Optional parameters: charset
      Although listed as an optional parameter, the use of the charset
      parameter is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED, ..."

I think "application/xml" and "text/xml" should be handled the same whereever
possible. On the logical level, XML documents are always text, since they
contain nothing but characters. "application/xml" is only necessary since
"text/..." implies restrictions on the used encoding (not relevant for 
8bit clean protocolls like HTTP).
See the discussion list mentioned above for other views on the purpose of
XML media types (dispatching).

All the best,

Paul Langer                           PL at softwareag.com
Software AG                           Tel. +49-6151-92-1912
Uhlandstr. 12                         Fax  +49-6151-92-1613
D-64297 Darmstadt 

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