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CODE4LIB  February 2009

CODE4LIB February 2009

Subject:

Re: MIME Type for MARC, Mods, etc.?

From:

"Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 17:47:52 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (98 lines)

A few points:

1. "x-" is commonly used in cases when an application for a mime type is 
pending, and when there is a reasonable expectation that it will be 
approved.   The mime type is prefixed with "x-" until the requested mime 
type becomes official, after which the "x-" is dropped.

2. We will be registering MODS and MARCXML:
 - application/mods+xml
 - application/marcxml+xml

3. The reason one uses (or doesn't use) +xml  is made very clear in one of 
the relevant RFCs (I don't have the number at the moment):  the application 
consuming the content is supposed to recognize the mime type and process it 
accordingly, however, in the event that it does not recognize the mime type, 
the "+xml" signals at least that the content is xml, and so there is a 
possibility that it might do something useful with it, even though it cannot 
proccess it according to mime type - it may be able to parse the XML and 
present something readable to the user. Even better, consider  the case 
where it is a protocol response, for example SRU, where we are registering 
application/sru+xml, there might be an accompanying  stylesheet url, and the 
client can then format a complete sru response without knowing that it did 
so.

 The reason is NOT, as some have suggested, to distinguish "mods+xml" from 
"mods+xyz" where "xyz" is some alternative syntax.  However, because of the 
confusion, we would register marcxml as marcxml+xml (even though it  sounds 
funny) rather than marc+xml, because of all the confusion that the latter 
name would cause.

--Ray

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Rochkind" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 5:21 PM
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] MIME Type for MARC, Mods, etc.?


> Actually, re-reading some of the RFCs, I would clarify one thing.
>
> It seems like using unregistered "x-" MIME type is discouraged, and 
> instead you are encouraged to use what is (claimed to be) a very quick and 
> easy and painless process of registering "vnd." types.  So I'd encourage 
> LC to investigate doing that for MARC, while waiting for someone to have 
> time to do an actual (more time consuming) application/marc+xml 
> registration. That would give us the beneift of an actual registration 
> (albeit under vnc.) instead of an unregistered x-.
>
> As far as text/xml, the general consensus on the internet seems to be that 
> it was a mistake, but it's there and no one cares enough to try to somehow 
> remove it, so it _is_ legal, but nobody really encourages using it.  One 
> problem with text/html is that it's default char encoding is ascii, while 
> the default char encoding for XML is of course UTF-8. This can very easily 
> lead to confusion and encoding errors unless software is more careful than 
> we know most software has a tendency to be. :)  Still, it's legal, but I 
> don't see any reason to encourage it's use for MARC.
> application/xml, sure, but it would be _really_ useful, for the reasons 
> discussed in last week's thread, to have a specific type for marc xml (and 
> mods).  If the folks at LC don't understand why, thinking that 
> application/xml is sufficient, i could try to write up a persuasive essay 
> again, or copy and paste from last week's thread. Or is there someone else 
> other than LC who could conceivably fill out an application for 
> application/marc+xml and application/mods_xml?
>
> Seriously, application/xml is not sufficient, although it is legal.
>
> Jonathan
>
> Alexander Johannesen wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 22:32, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]> 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Didn't we finish having this conversation last week? We talked about all
>>> this stuff being brought up now last week.
>>>
>>
>> We did indeed, and your summary is better than what my retort could
>> have been; spot on.
>>
>> I guess it's hard to understand why text/xml is such a waste of MIME
>> and time as long as we still got text/html as the original understood
>> MIME for HTML pages, but luckily the internet has moved on and
>> evolved. :)
>>
>> One question we haven't asked is if we really need a MIME type for 
>> MARCXML. :)
>>
>>
>> Alex
>> --
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>  Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic 
>> Maps
>> ------------------------------------------  
>> http://shelter.nu/blog/ --------
>>
>> 

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