ANN: "media-types.dtd"

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Jan 26 21:22:44 GMT 1999

Murray Altheim complained about my "media-types.dtd" document thus:

> You've used the IETF ownerid, but
> I see no authorization to create a work within their namespace. Is there
> some IETF document (I-D, RFC, etc.) to justify this usage? [...] You're
> inappropriately assigning names within another organization's namespace.

After much reflection, I have rewritten the document not to use
public identifiers, IETF or otherwise, because it's true that the
IETF might assign different public identifiers to the referenced
documents, or assign the given public identifiers to something else.

> If you had used '-//Sun Microsystems//' I can guarantee you'd be talking
> to our lawyers. You're representing a document you authored as that of
> the IETF, a recognized organization, and it's not an IETF document.

But I cannot let this charge stand.  I did not write a document
and give it an IETF public id.  I wrote a document which *refers* to
other documents that are written or published by the IETF, using
"plausible" (a.k.a. "Sears catalogue") public ids for them.

The new version uses only system IDs, namely the URLs of the
media-types explanations at .

> This document should not have been posted, and it is appropriate that
> you either remove it from circulation or alter the ownerid's to one for
> which you have authority, such as '-//JCowan//'.

If I used that, the well-known singer John Cowan (
would probably be down on me instead.  1/2 :-)

So, from the top:

The DTD fragment
contains XML notation declarations for all the recognized MIME media types
such as text/plain, audio/basic, and application/postscript.
The notation names are derived by mapping "/" to "_" and making a
few other changes documented in the DTD fragment.

In accordance with the conventions of XML notations, each notation has
an external identifier which refers to an English-language description of
the format named by the notation.

So now if you want to have an XML element that refers to a Microsoft
Project file, you can incorporate "media-types.dtd" and then
declare it as:

	<!ENTITY acorn-project SYSTEM "dilbert.mpp"

John Cowan		cowan at
	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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