[whatwg] Video with MIME type application/octet-stream

Philip Jägenstedt philipj at opera.com
Tue Sep 7 03:52:36 PDT 2010

On Tue, 07 Sep 2010 11:51:55 +0200, And Clover <and-py at doxdesk.com> wrote:

> On 09/07/2010 03:56 AM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>> P.S. Sniffing is harder that you seem to think. It really is...
> Quite. It surprises and saddens me that anyone wants to argue for *more*  
> sniffing, and even enshrining it in a web standard.

IE9, Safari and Chrome ignore Content-Type in a <video> context and rely  
on sniffing. If you want Content-Type to be respected, convince the  
developers of those 3 browsers to change. If not, it's quite inevitable  
that Opera and Firefox will eventually have to follow.

> Sniffing is a perpetual disaster that, after several security-sensitive  
> problems, web browsers have been moving to deprecate/mitigate.

> For reasons already argued about here, you will never make the results  
> of content-sniffing reliable, so why bother to standardise it? A  
> standardised unreliable feature is no better than an unstandardised one.

Unless all browsers agree to respect Content-Type, the next best thing is  
to agree on the same sniffing. Why would leaving it undefined be better?

> The typing mechanism of the web (and more) is Content-Type, period.

Only in theory. In practice, Content-Type is an unreliable indicator of  
the type of a resource. Sniffing is already part of the web architecture,  
with all its problems.

> (*: or, the traditional reason for sniffing, `text/plain`, due to Apache  
> inappropriately sending this type for unknown files by default, bug  
> 13986. That doesn't seem to apply here.)

It hasn't been explicitly stated, but I assume that the only cases where  
sniffing for video formats would be employed would be for missing  
Content-Type, text/plain and application/octet-stream.

Philip Jägenstedt
Core Developer
Opera Software

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