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Re: Text

1998-10-23 09:59:02
There's a big difference in the way on-the-wire and local formats are used. On-the-wire formats, as format=flowed is targeted to be, have to interoperate really well with the installed base of applications that communicate using it. In this case it is e-mail client software and gateways. I posted a sample of text/paragraph to this mailing list some months ago to find out how well it worked. It was clear that you could not send this format in e-mail with impunity. Many mailers treated it as an attachment and that's why it was withdrawn. Format=flowed doesn't have this problem.

Local formats (or applications where you can negotiate format like HTTP), are a little different. If you're looking for a type to use with some local application of the MIME type scheme, then text/paragraph makes a lot more sense. It allows you to label the format you have correctly. In my implementaiton of format=flowed, the mail messages is actually stored in text/paragraph while the user is editing it and while it remains a draft message. It is converted to format=flowed upon sending because storing format=flowed locally for outgoing messages makes no sense. (I don't have to actually label it internally as text/paragraph since that's the only form of text used).

So I don't think there's anything wrong with perusing and registering it even as text/paragraph, but I would like to see text saying that it has been found unsuitable for on-the-wire e-mail use and suggest format=flowed instead.

In general, using MIME typing for lots of other applications, internal representations, etc seems like a good idea to me.


At 8:56 PM -0700 10/22/98, Ashley Yakeley wrote:
At 1998-10-22 19:55, Keith Moore wrote:

But I'm right, aren't I? Text/paragraph fails to be handled correctly by
many existing UAs which don't like unrecognised text/*, but it's still
useful for many applications. I think there's room in the world for it no
matter what solutions anyone comes up with for mail and news.

Perhaps.  But the people who designed text/paragraph were trying to
solve the mail/news problem.  So to them it's a failure.

Well this may explain the withdrawal, but I'd like to suggest
re-submitting it in some form... or perhaps there's some way it can be
registered without being an RFC, perhaps as 'text/vnd.paragraph'.

else might find it useful in another environment (say the way),
but I doubt it, because HTML is more functional and already widely

Text/paragraph as such is already very widely used, and very useful, but
by necessity it can only be inaccurately labelled 'text/plain' by systems
using MIME to type data, such as Java's data-transfer mechanism and some

HTML may be more functional, but obviously it's rather unwieldy for many
applications which need nothing more than plain text.

Ashley Yakeley, Seattle WA

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