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From "Boyce, Nick" <>
Subject RE: mime.types not behaving properly
Date Fri, 14 Dec 2001 16:36:16 GMT
IMHO, "application/octet-stream" is as correct as you can make it at the
server end - I think this is a client config problem.

I usually get this sort of problem with IE - my Apache supplies a Word
document as application/octet-stream, but IE insists on handing off the file
to Word to display (as if I'd supplied "application/MS-Word"), instead of
prompting for a download location (which is what we want).   I think IE
decides it knows better ... it either sees the filename extension, or even
looks inside the file at the first few bytes which have the "signature" of a
Word doc.   

There are issues with Windows itself in this respect : if you rename a Word
doc as ".zzz" instead of ".doc", and then try to launch the file using
Windows Explorer, you'll find that Word(pad) automagically launches to open
the file, instead of Windows displaying the "How would you like to open this
unknown file type" dialog as you might expect.  This is because Explorer
looks inside the file to see what type of data is contained inside.

I'd play with the Netscape config if I were you.  I don't have Netscape
installed any longer, but IIRC there is a dialog in the "Preferences" setup
where you can specify what should happen for given file (= Mime) types.

I don't *think* there's anything more you can do at the Apache end to
influence things (somebody please say if there is).


> Nick
> EDS Southwest Solution Centre, Bristol, UK

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 14 December 2001 04:29
Subject: mime.types not behaving properly


I'm running apache 1.3.14 on solaris 2.7(intel) with mod_ssl.
The server is configured with several virtualhosts using NameVirtualHost.
Some of the virtual servers have links to WordPerfect files (using .wpd

If a user is browsing with IExplorer 5.*, clicking on the link will prompt
for download, or if he has it configured
to, open the file with the WordPerfect application.

If a user is browsing with Netscape 4.* it will handle it like a text file
and try to open it using the browser.

I've tried adding the following to the mime.types file:

application/wordperfect5.1     wpd

and tried setting the following in the httpd.conf:

DefaultType application/octet-stream

But I still have the same problem.

Any ideas??

Thanks in advance,


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