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Subject: Re: Toward Graceful Deployment of Tables
From: lilley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 14 Mar 1995 16:02:38 +0000 (GMT)
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Dan Connolly wrote:

> This is a copy of:
> 	http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/MarkUp/table-deployment.html

>     Documents with tables should be labelled as:
>    
>         Content-Type: text/html; level=3
> 
>     and clients that support HTML 3.0 will interpret them reliably.

and, later on,
 
>   should information providers use text/x-html; level=3 rather than 
>   text/html; level=3?

However the current DTD (Draft: Mon 13-Mar-95 09:51:25) states:

        While HTML 3.0 is being discussed, please use text/x-html3
        as a temporary MIME content type, as this will allow clients
        to distinguish html 3 from current html documents.
        
Which of these three is correct?

Using Netscape 1.1b1 for HP-UX, sending the same table-containing file with
different MIME types, I find:

text/html		displays fine
text/html; level=3	displays fine, level is ignored
text/x-html3		unknown media type, offers to save to file
text/x-html; level=3	unknown media type, warning about unknown encoding "level"

This was using the CERN server, version 3.0pre6, like this:

 #Add  experimental MIME types for CGM files and HTML 3.0
 AddType .cgm     application/x-cgm       8bit
 AddType .html3   text/html; level=3      8bit
 AddType .html-3  text/x-html3            8bit
 AddType .html+3  text/x-html; level=3    8bit

I think that the server does not allow spaces in the MIME type, even if 
there is a semicolon after the subtype. So it is sending out an illegal 
encoding. Yup:

 cguhpc [79]: telnet info 8080
 Trying...
 Connected to info.mcc.ac.uk.
 Escape character is '^]'.
 HEAD /eg-uk-tables.html+3 HTTP/1.0

 HTTP/1.0 200 Document follows
 MIME-Version: 1.0
 Server: CERN/3.0pre6
 Date: Tuesday, 14-Mar-95 15:28:18 GMT
 Content-Encoding: level=3
 Content-Type: text/x-html;
 Content-Length: 1047
 Last-Modified: Tuesday, 14-Mar-95 15:10:05 GMT

 Connection closed by foreign host.

I have previously reported a problem with Arena 0.94y (I think) not 
accepting text/x-html3. It displayed it OK, but running in verbose mode it 
was complaining about an unknown media type. This seems to have been fixed:

Arena 0.96p in debug mode shows that it sends an accept header:

 Accept: text/x-html3; q=0.800
 Accept: text/html; level=3; q=0.900
 Accept: text/html; q=0.600

This seems to suggest that the W3O people see text/x-html3 as the interim
type and text/html; level=3 as the type to be used once HTML 3.0 is official
and stable and stuff (with a higher q factor to express a preference, if the 
server has a choice).

If Arena 0.96p gets back

  Content-Type: text/x-html;

it does this:

  HTMIME: MIME content type is text/x-html;, converting to www/present
  StreamStack. Constructing stream stack for text/x-html; to www/present
  StreamStack. Don't know how to handle this, so put out */* to www/present
  HTExtConvert.... input format is text/x-html;.. output format is www/present

and displays it as a text file.

If it gets this:

  Content-Type: text/x-html3

Arena 0.96p displays it without fault:
 
  HTMIME: MIME content type is text/x-html3, converting to www/present
  StreamStack. Constructing stream stack for text/x-html3 to www/present
  HTExtConvert.... input format is text/x-html3.. output format is www/present
  Read Socket. 1047 bytes read

Conclusion:

a) Arena 0.96p works correctly, iff the MIME type is text/x-html3
b) Netscape 1.1b1 works correctly, in that it does not claim to be an 
   HTML 3 browser and offers to save unknown MIME typed objects to disk.
   This does mean that some documents it could infact handle are not displayed.
c) The CERN server has problems serving up parameterised MIME types.

--
Chris Lilley
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Technical Author, Manchester and North HPC Training & Education Centre  |
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| Computer Graphics Unit,        |     Email: [log in to unmask]      |
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|                 /O=manchester-computing-centre /PRMD=UK.AC /ADMD= /C=GB/|
|<A HREF="http://info.mcc.ac.uk/CGU/staff/lilley/lilley.html">my page</A> | 
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