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From "Hance, Greg (ELS)" <>
Subject How to add metadata to a binary response?
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2005 15:24:13 GMT


We have an interesting problem that I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to
implement so I'm turning to my fellow Cocoon cronies for some ideas.

Basically, I'm looking for a way to add metadata to an arbitrary binary
response and I'd also like to do this in a way that is cacheable through
Cocoon. Most of our output from Cocoon (pipelines) return XHTML so we just
use HTML meta tags to return additional metadata w/ these requests - which
works nicely in that it gets serialized and cached as well.

We have a few pipelines that use custom Cocoon readers that we also need to
return metadata with - the output of these pipelines are binary and return
various image formats (JPEG, GIF) and also some PDFs. The problem is that we
also need to return some metadata along w/ these requests.

Has anyone ever done something like this or have any ideas? The only idea I
can think of would be to actually convert the binary object into Base64 or
something and serialize it as XML along w/ some metadata also in XML. These
seems a little roundabout though.

Another idea I had was to maybe HTTP response metadata / directives but the
only problem w/ that is that I wouldn't know how to handle setting something
in the response (or might not have an opportunity) if the request was

Any help is appreciated!

TIA, Greg  

Greg Hance, Tech-Partners

Elsevier, eDevelopment
11830 Westline Industrial Dr. 
St. Louis, MO 63146

Phone: 314.995.3258

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