Re: Content negotiation

Brian Behlendorf (
Wed, 8 Nov 1995 15:09:46 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 8 Nov 1995, Shel Kaphan wrote:
> And by the way, I wasn't talking about course-grained, dynamic
> content-negotiation per se, but about the fine grained and constant
> properties of browsers such as "can-center-text",
> "tables-can-contain-forms", etc.

Crucial design goal decision time, folks:

Do we want to support, through mechanisms in HTTP, the ability to express
a bitmap of capabilities within specific content types (like HTML), or

Supporting exact capabilities seems to make sense given the current modus
operandi of adding new functionality to the web by incremental advances -
a new feature is desired, a new HTML tag or attribute is defined. If
this is truely the evolutionary path developers want to see HTML and the
web in general take, then there's not much choice - we have to do it,
elegance be damned.

Or, we could decide that HTTP negotiation + simple, solid,
easily-implementable-to-conformance-levels MIME types provide a better
evolutionary path, and avoid the cache-busting swamp of capability

Let's make a decision on this issue, or we'll be passing the buck until
the whole deal is irrelevant.

Awaiting the day when browsers aren't responsible for rendering, Brian

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