Re: [apps-discuss] font/* (and draft-freed-media-type-regs)

Nathaniel Borenstein <> Sun, 13 November 2011 18:05 UTC

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From: Nathaniel Borenstein <>
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Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 13:05:11 -0500
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To: Larry Masinter <>
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] font/* (and draft-freed-media-type-regs)
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On Nov 12, 2011, at 3:25 PM, Larry Masinter wrote:

> My conclusion from this discussion is that we should declare the MIME hierarchy closed to new top level types; we've only gotten very limited use and value out of the hierarchy, compared to the pain and difficulty (text/xml vs application/xml).

I strongly disagree.  I always expected such difficulties, but I believe a new top level type continues to make sense for certain relatively rare cases, and that "font" (or "fontformat" as per Tony's helpful suggestion) may well be one of them.  I think it would be imprudent to completely rule out any new types in the future, because I don't think we have any real idea what kinds of media human beings will some day invent.   I, at least, always saw "application" as a catch-all for things that didn't fit in any broader media buckets, not also as a catch-all for new possible new buckets.

But I also recognize that since there are few functional differences between "fontformat/xyz" and "application/font; format=xyz" and any number of other alternatives, this question may not have a definitive engineering-level answer.  That's another reason I'd just as soon stick to a more intuitive human notion of top-level media-types:  it's the only level at which it *ever* made sense.  If it's clear to a random civilian why jpeg and gif are in the same category, then the 'image' TLMT makes at least some sense.

On Nov 13, 2011, at 5:11 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Doesn't this also argue for "imageformat" and "videoformat"?

It probably would, if there had been anyone arguing for "image/cutebabies" or "image/dogsplayingpoker".  I think that people just more naturally assumed it was the format with "image," whereas there are two obvious ways to interpret "font" so a disambiguation might be helpful.  -- Nathaniel