Re: [apps-discuss] A modest proposal for MIME types (and URI schemes)

Graham Klyne <> Mon, 14 November 2011 10:10 UTC

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Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 07:58:34 +0000
From: Graham Klyne <>
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] A modest proposal for MIME types (and URI schemes)
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On 13/11/2011 18:59, Larry Masinter wrote:
 > I find this perspective appealing, and can't find anything wrong with it 
except that it's a break with tradition.


In particular, I think, the tradition that IANA registries were/are an extension 
point for the IETF standards series (a perspective, if not strictly true).  The 
concern, and this was voiced quite strongly by some participants when we were 
working on the header field registry, is that appearance in an IANA registry may 
give the appearance of being an IETF standard.

But I sense that, in the applications area at least, the world has moved on and 
there are other ways for developers to figure out which options are likely to be 

I think it's worth considering.


> I'd like to discuss the proposal for MIME registrations from Roy Fielding in
> and the possibility that such changes should also apply to URI schemes.
> You can read Roy's rationale, which makes sense to me, but my summary is:
> * Eliminate standards, vendor, personal trees distinction for MIME types (For URI schemes, eliminate distinction between provisional and permanent schemes)
> * ENCOURAGE vendors to ship with vendor-neutral short-named types regardless of whether they have been registered yet or not;
>     ENCOURAGE the public to register any names that they have seen in deployed software. (same for URI schemes)
> * DO NOT try to avoid duplicates
> * EXPERT REVIEW for updates to existing registrations
> * Eliminate any IESG or consensus review requirement
> "There is absolutely no need to prevent name collisions in the registry itself because those collisions are irrelevant -- what matters is how the names are interpreted by recipients of messages."
> "There is absolutely no need to prevent people who are not the owners of a media type from registering that type without any prefixes."
> "The registry is not operable -- it is just documentation of how the Internet is operating, and it should reflect the reality of that operation even if that means we have multiple definitions per registered type."
> I find this perspective appealing, and can't find anything wrong with it except that it's a break with tradition. If you're at IETF this week and want to talk about it, find me.
> Larry
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