Re: Byte ranges -- formal spec proposal

Marc VanHeyningen (
Fri, 19 May 1995 06:00:45 +0500

Brian awk^H^H^Hsed:
> On Thu, 18 May 1995, Marc VanHeyningen wrote:
> > (Aside -- apart from text/plain, how many widely used content-types
> > are there where a fragment of the object is a legal object of that
> > content-type?)
> Minimal support for fragmentation (i.e., there are places where the object
> can be split): PDF, Quicktime (certain codecs), HTML (?),
> "mailbox-message" format plain text.
> Completely fragmentable: plain text, aiff, wav, and mu-law sound formats.
> Basically, any unstructured and uncompressed file formats, which also
> happens to be the least useful type of file.

Well, the most common format, audio/basic, has header information which
contains magic numbers and the Hz and stuff like that, and technically is
not a legal audio/basic file without them, though many players will tolerate
this. I would put this in the same category as HTML; arbitrary segments
probably are not legal, but viewers might be able to tolerate them.

> To repeat: just because a file's fragments aren't valid file types on
> their own doesn't mean they're not useful.

Indeed; you show a potentially useful, if rather brittle, example.
However, if the fragment is not a valid file type, how then should the
server label it?

- Marc