Re: Mime-types

Subject: Re: Mime-types
From: Sam TH (
Date: Wed Feb 14 2001 - 22:08:17 CST

On Wed, Feb 14, 2001 at 03:09:45PM -0800, Paul Rohr wrote:
> Do we do a quick-and-dirty .vnd registration immediately, or is it worth
> someone's time -- not necessarily yours -- to do the additional file format
> documentation required to get a "first class" registration of
> application/abiword or text/abiword?

I don't know if you're missing what Bill has been saying, or if you
just disagree with it. But the point he has been making (AFAICT) is
that no amount of additional file format documentation will get us to
the point that RFC 2048 is looking for, simply because of the nature
of the format.

Now, I'm just taking Bill's word (and all the MIME types I've seen)
for this, but it seems that "regular" (ie, not vnd.) types go to two
kinds of formats:

1) Formats that get sent "over the wire"
There are lots of these. text/html is one. application/mpeg is one.
application/whatever-the-real-audio-thing-is is another. Barring
major earthshaking changes in the world of computing, AbiWord is not
destined to be one of these. [Note that downloading something is not
sending it "over the wire" in this sense.]

2) Formats that internet applications need to distinguish
Here I'm thinking of mail readers, since they are the only ones where
category 1 doesn't apply. In this fall text/rfc822, and
applications/pgp-signature. Do generic mail readers really need to
know that the file I send you is and AbiWord document? Not really.
You're just going to save it, and then open it in AbiWord. Even if
you are planning to view it from your mail client, you have to set
this up yourself, so it doesn't need to be something that all mail
clients understand, the way application/pgp-signature should be.

So I think what I'm trying to say is that characterizing vnd as "quick
and dirty" is the wrong way of looking at it. Unless you think we
belong in one of the two categories above, or if you think there's a
third I've missed, vnd is where we belong.
        sam th
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