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Q: HTTP ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: HTTP
Category: Computers
Asked by: rodferna-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 20 Feb 2003 02:42 PST
Expires: 22 Mar 2003 02:42 PST
Question ID: 163826
Subject: Re: HTTP
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 20 Feb 2003 04:20 PST
Hello Rodferna,

MIME [1] Headers in HTTP are sent by web servers so the client
application can decide what to do with each file -- that is, with what
kind of application to open the file. (It's similar to a file
extension on an Operating System, only that there are so many
Operating Systems and file extensions. This is why online, from the
perspective of the client application, file extensions should be
considered "meaningless" [2].)

A practical example: if you click on a link to a JPEG image
(content-type: "image/jpeg"), it typically opens within the browser
itself. But if you click on a PDF document (content-type:
"application/pdf"), it might open in Acrobat Reader; or be saved to
disk in case the application is not installed. This is all because the
server declares the content-type of the files to help the client
system to make its best choice.

For a list of MIME types, see:

MIME and the Web -- The MIME Content-Type

Hope it helps!


[1] MIME (Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions),,sid26_gci212576,00.html

[2] The Content-type Saga (by A. J. Flavell)
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