[whatwg] several messages about XML syntax and HTML5

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Mon Dec 4 06:29:30 PST 2006

Ian Hickson wrote:

> In the Web Apps 1.0 world, an HTTP message whose headers say text/html is 
> an HTML document, regardless of what sequence of bytes the body of the 
> message actually say. An HTTP message whose headers say text/xml, or use 
> some other XML MIME type, is an XML document. It's the MIME type that 
> decides how it is processed. If it is processed as an HTML document, then 
> it _is_ an HTML document, possibly with errors. So says the spec.

And other specs say other things. The document can be more than one 
thing at once. If it's well-formed, it is XML. Maybe it's HTML too, 
though I do think you're confusing what it's processed as with what it is.

Furthermore I disagree that that the MIME type describes how a document 
is processed. This is provably false. I routinely process documents as 
other than their MIME type says.

The MIME type is a hint the server provides saying how it sees this 
document. The client is free to follow that hint or not. Different 
clients can and will choose different processing that suits their needs. 
  The server does not know and cannot control what the client does.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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