[whatwg] Web Archives

Tyler Keating tylerkeating at mac.com
Wed Apr 11 13:24:01 PDT 2007

I apologize if I've missed this in the specification or mailing  
archives, but I have a suggestion related to standardizing web  
"archives" in HTML5.  Currently, I know that Firefox uses Mozilla  
Archive Format (.maf), Internet Explorer and Opera use MIME HTML  
(.mht)  and Safari uses its own format (.webarchive) for saving a web  
page and all of its resources into a single file.  So clearly a  
standard would be beneficial in ensuring "archive" compatibility  
between browsers and I think it's suitable for that standard to  
reside in HTML5.

I don't believe this would be very difficult to standardize and the  
solution may be nothing more than a collection of random files  
wrapped into a ZIP compressed archive with a unique extension similar  
to a JAR or ODF file.  The unique extension would be recognized by  
browsers, email clients and editors, which could then extract and  
display the root file directly (ex. index.html).  The root file would  
obviously contain relative URIs to any other HTML, JavaScript, CSS,  
images and other files in the archive so the internal structure may  
not be important and the browser would not need any new rules to  
interpret individual files once it has uncompressed the archive into  
memory.  This would facilitate passing HTML based documents around  
that could be viewed with any browser, yet appear as a small single  


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