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What is in a format name?

1992-01-13 10:48:31
Hi there. Yet another of us strangely spelled Scandinavians...

These are just nits that popped up while implementing MIME, and may
have been discussed before somewhere in the mighty river of discussion
on this list.
However, I've gotten the impression that the standardization process
is eased by unambiguity.

In the draft, section 7.5, on the Image Content-type,
it says "The subtype names the specific format."

It then goes on to name JPEG as one of these. However, it is my understanding,
from several authoritative-seeming postings, that the JPEG standard
defines only a set of algorithms, not a file format, and that several
incompatible such formats have been created by implementors.
(At the moment, probably the most widely used is the JFIF format embodied in
the free software from the Independent JPEG Group.)

To really specify a *format*, the subtype could be renamed image/jfif.
Or the image/jpeg subtype could be better defined, since simply referring
to the JPEG document won't really resolve everything.

Another (tiny) nit in the same vein concerns the "application/oda" format.
ODA being the entire architecture, the file format name really
ought to be ODIF...

Of course, I realize that the more widely-used acronyms are more attractive
as names, but it would be nice if the actual formats referred to by them
were mentioned.

Stellan Lagerstr&o:m
 (Yes, that's Mnemonic and no, my MIME-sender isn't finished yet :-)
System manager, Student Computers, Dept of Electrical Engineering,
Royal institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

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