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From Joshua Slive <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject Re: mod_mime and encoding
Date Sat, 25 Aug 2001 03:00:32 GMT

On Fri, 24 Aug 2001, Rich Bowen wrote:
> Question 1: Does the following seem to be a reasonable explanation of
> what "encoding" means?

Yes.

>
> Question 2: Should this go into the mod_mime docs, or is there
> somewhere else where this would fit better?

Yes, in mod_mime.html.



>
> -----------------------------------------
>
> A file of a particular MIME type can additionally be encoded a
> particular way to simplify transmission over the Internet. While this
> usually will refer to compression, it can also refer to encryption, or
> to an encoding such as UUencoding, which is designed for transmitting
> a binary file in an ASCII (text) format.
>
> By using more than one file extension (see Section about multiple file
> extensions - link here), you can indicate that a file is of a particular
> <em>type</em>, and also has a particular <em>encoding</em>.
>
> For example, you may have a file which is a Microsoft Word document,
> which is pkzipped to reduce its size. If the .doc extension is
> associated with the Microsoft Word file type, and the .zip
> extension is associated with the pkzip file encoding, then the file
> Resume.doc.zip would be known to be a pkzipp'ed Word document.
>

I like the concreteness.  For reference, the RFC says:

The Content-Encoding entity-header field is used as a modifier to the
media-type. When present, its value indicates what additional content
coding has been applied to the resource, and thus what decoding mechanism
must be applied in order to obtain the media-type referenced by the
Content-Type header field. The Content-Encoding is primarily used to allow
a document to be compressed without losing the identity of its underlying
media type.

I think this is fairly clear, and I am tempted to suggest replacing your
first paragraph directly with this paragraph.

Joshua.


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