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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: John Goerzen <jgoerzen@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 09:04:47 -0500
Reply-to: gopher@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Cameron Kaiser wrote:
>>> gopher://
>> Does this mean that we have to look up the mime-type for each file? What if
>> you don't know it? Also, wouldn't this make it harder to give links to other
>> people? I'm not really at peace with these things - mime-types and all that
>> just aren't my cup of tea.
> It would make them longer, yes. However, the idea here is only to use the
> MIME type for ambiguous or unspecified types. A client that is type-aware only
> uses the MIME type if it's provided, and falls back on the itemtype otherwise.
> A client that doesn't know about MIME types just sees the 9.

I think that if we're going to clean up our act on filetypes, that this 
isn't the simplest way to go.

The whole notion of putting filetypes in the URL is something that 
doesn't really work all that well already, since it breaks relative 
linking.  I also think that the whole question of how to deal with 
single-character filetypes is so complicated that trying to rely on them 
too much is not going to be a fruitful path.  Gopher is all about 
simplicity, and if it takes pages to explain to server and client 
authors how to deal with these single-character item types, we haven't 
achieved that.

Perhaps what we need is a way for clients to signal they understand an 
enhanced protocol -- call it say Gopher++ -- and when the server 
receives a request using this protocol, it can send the MIME type and 
perhaps document size before the document.

MIME type-handling libraries are common on just about every platform, 
and if people don't want to use them, they can match the bit before the 
slash and come up with a really quite good approximation of the 
single-character file types.

If we are still going to put MIME types into URLs, why not put them at 
the end?





The item type is not really for the server's benefit anyhow.

-- John

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