Outside the Document: MIME and File Extensions
Identifiers without Instructions
- MIME Originally developed for email, MIME content-types provide a two-part identification string for particular document types. Pluses: Widely implemented, a core part of HTTP processing. Minuses: Content-types are defined in human-language documents; application developers must handle processing themselves.
- File Extensions The way most PC users identify their files, and a well-understood convention. Pluses: Everybody's doing it. Minuses: No central registry identifying what they mean.
- XML Documents and External Identifiers While there was a brief bit of pleading that people not use '.xml' on files, no strong consensus has emerged.
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Copyright 1999 Simon St.Laurent