XML media types revisited

John Cowan cowan at locke.ccil.org
Thu Jan 14 18:47:00 GMT 1999

Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> I'm pondering the fairly thorny issue of MIME types and XML, and I'm really
> wondering if the approach of RFC 2376 is a good idea.  Apart from dealing
> with an enormous number of possible complications regarding character sets,
> RFC 2376 (available at ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2376.txt) defines the
> text/xml and application/xml media types.

I think it's worth pointing out that these are merely *generic*
media types for XML: application/xml for any XML whatsoever, and
text/xml for XML that meets the relatively lenient requirements
of the "text" top-level type (basically, that the content makes
sense as plain text and is not full of Base-64 rubbish, or the like,
and that line breaks are represented as CR-LF).

Specific applications of XML can and should be registered as distinct
media types, possibly under other top-level types: an XML-based
representation of music might be registered as "audio/musicml"
in the expectation that some audio players might be able to
play it.

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan at ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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