[uf-new] Separating File Content from File Format

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Thu Apr 5 12:46:34 PDT 2007

On Apr 5, 2007, at 1:49 PM, Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:

> You can do other sophisticated stuff with the "type" attribute to...
> since it holds a "Content Type" and not just a "MIME type".  So you
> can add parameters to it too.

The distinction between "content type" and "MIME type" doesn't seem  
very clear in the HTML spec:


The header "Content types (MIME types)" seems to suggest they're  
interchangeable terms, though they're apparently not as "text/html;  
charset=UTF-8" is a valid content type, but not a valid MIME type.   
Does anyone know of a reference where the definition of "content  
type" is made more clear?  Are there any existing standards around  
sub-parameters of content types?

I also wonder whether this is appropriate when the additional human- 
readable file information is published somewhere other than the  
link.  For example, this is a snippet from a screen-scraping tool I  
made to provide download links for video files:

		<img src="http://www.comedycentral.com/images/shows/tds/videos/ 
	<h1>Frog Princess</h1>
	<p>Larry Wilmore explains that when you wish upon a star, it makes a  
difference who you are.</p>
		<li><a href="http://a1136.c.akamai.net/n/1136/9950/v001/ 
__gda__=1175813754_e1a844fd4dfd872bf13b8bc96b430a04">Download Low  
Quality Flash Video File</a></li>
		<li><a href="http://a1136.c.akamai.net/n/1136/9950/v001/ 
__gda__=1175813224_a83ec303f5e664e4f66c006e4deba362">Download High  
Quality Flash Video File</a></li>

I publish human-readable file types, bitrates (low vs. high quality),  
and lengths, so it would be nice to have machine-readable versions of  
all of that information.  I could add type="application/x-shockwave- 
flash; length: 212; bitrate=128" to the links, and that would seem to  
make sense for the MIME type and bitrate, which are published in  
human-readable form within the link.  But the length is published  
outside the link, so it seems a little awkward to be publishing the  
machine-readable version of that in the link.

Scott Reynen

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