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[gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions

[gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions

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To: gopher@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions
From: "Nuno J. Silva" <nunojsilva@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 00:56:41 +0100
Reply-to: gopher@xxxxxxxxxxxx

[I hope this message does not appear twice. If that happens, I
apologize. I'm having trouble with the ISP smtpd]

On Tue, 8 Jul 2008 14:10:31 -0700 (PDT)
JumpJet Mailbox <jumpjetinfo@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Not true._ A_WAV file and a MPG file are NOT the same, yet they can
> legitimately be assigned Item Type 9 (binary file) under Gopher._
> Only with the extension will the HUMAN know what kind of binary file
> (sound or movie) has been tagged as Item Type 9. =20

Extensions are not the only way to know what to do with a file.

You can always write in the menu "Video lecture on computer sciences
#1", btw, or place that into a folder called "Video lectures", and the
user would know what to do with it (play it with a video player).

> Gopher is actually an improved version of FTP._ Don't you hate going
> to an FTP site and not knowing what files have been posted, because
> they were posted without extensions?? =20

No, I hate when I really don't know what a file is. Extensions are
*not* a must.

You can always run file on the downloaded data to see what it is. If it
will always work, I don't know (but that's something I'd like to
know, I've to look at it).

In gopher, the data types solve *any* problem there might be with plain
gopher clients, which only handle gopher menus and plain text files.

For text files served over gopher, there's obviously no interest in
adding an extension. And IMO RTF, HTML and other ASCII-encoded files
should not be served using 0 (for html, i've seen 'h'), so there's no
problem with 0 (which I believe that should only be used for plain-text
wrapped text).

Problems really arise with 9, we need something else so we can know how
to handle the binary file after downloading it. Sometimes it might have
an extension, sometimes it might not.

For non-binary (ASCII-encoded) files which are not directly
understandable, the issue with providing them under type 9 is that
they're not binary - if there is another somewhere-defined type for
this generic sort of data, it should be used - otherwise 9 should be
used (another possibility is defining a new data type - that would
break old clients, right?).

There's also gopher+ and mime-types, which help getting rid of the
"what to do with the binary document?" thing.

Nuno J. Silva (aka njsg)
LEIC student at Instituto Superior T=C3=A9cnico
Lisbon, Portugal
Gopherspace: gopher://
Registered Linux User #402207 -

vista policy violation: Microsoft optical mouse detected penguin
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