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Re: Massive Content-Type definition ideas & Gopher

1993-06-10 10:29:14
What I'm trying to say is that choosing a single algorithm doesn't permit
future growth. It's always better to make an escape hatch available.

An observation:  it is not necessary that the escape hatch be at the MIME
level.  If one takes the precaution of including a version-number field in
the compression format, then if some wildly better compression method
comes along, it is possible to add support for it transparently to MIME.

This approach has the problem that the MIME headers don't tell you quite
everything that you need to know to decide whether your system can handle
the message.  On the other hand, in practice the problems are similar:
either way, you find out when you come to read the message that your
system needs a compression-software upgrade to understand it.

There is even precedent, of a sort:  application/postscript handles the
different flavors of PostScript by punting to an imbedded version number.

                                         Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
henry(_at_)zoo(_dot_)toronto(_dot_)edu   utzoo!henry