XML media types revisited

David LeBlanc whisper at accessone.com
Fri Jan 15 04:11:39 GMT 1999


I don't agree with the idea that XML is a replacement for ASCII. ASCII is
just one means of encoding character data; EBCDIC and Unicode are others
(encoding in the sense of assigning a code to a character glyph). To me,
"text" does not imply the underlying represtentation/encoding. In fact,
although XML is based on Unicode, there are no technical reasons that I
know of why XML could not be represtented in EBCDIC or ASCII (aside from
standard compliance).

Neither does "application" imply C, C++, Java or whatever else. In fact, I
wonder if "application/xml" is appropriate at all - does "application/RTF"
or "application/TROFF" make sense?


Dave LeBlanc

At 01:08 PM 1/14/99 -0500, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>I don't expect the IETF to change this anytime soon, but it does seem like
>something that could stand improvement.  XML isn't really a text format -
>Tim Bray used to say, it's a replacement for ASCII.  I'm inclined to agree
>with him here, and think that maybe XML deserves to be placed on the same
>footing as ASCII, not underneath it.
>Simon St.Laurent
>XML: A Primer / Cookies
>Sharing Bandwidth 
>Building XML Applications (March)

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