XML MIME Types, Blocks, and more
15:38, 14 Sep 2000 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

The Internet Engineering Task Force has released Internet Drafts covering XML Media Types, the Blocks protocol (1 2), and more, including name resolution and internationalization proposals.

The latest draft of XML Media Types (of which the author of this article is a co-author) describes the text/xml, application/xml, text/xml-external-parsed-entity, application/xml-external-parsed-entity, and application/xml-dtd types, as well as the +xml suffix for new XML-based media types. It adds additional language separating the use of the xml types from the xml-external-parsed-entity types. The previous draft was in last call; it isn't yet clear if last call must now be restarted.

The IETF's Content Negotiation work also moved forward with the publication of RFC 2912, "Indicating Media Features for MIME Content", and RFC 2913, "MIME Content Types in Media Feature Expressions". They are both now Proposed Standard protocols.

The new Blocks drafts continue work on proposals for a new transport mechanism that could potentially replace HTTP in current XML protocol work. The framework document describes a "generic application protocol framework for connection-oriented, asynchronous interactions," while Mapping the BXXP Framework onto TCP "describes how a BXXP session is mapped onto a single TCP connection." Appendices in each document list changes from prior versions.

On the URI front, various drafts proposed methods of simplifying and internationalizing name resolution have been published:

  • The Common Name Resolution Protocol (CNRP) seeks to make it possible for "a word or a phrase, without imposed syntactic structure, [to] be associated with a resource. " A related draft defines a "go:" URI scheme to support CNRP.
  • Several drafts on internationalizing portions of the URI space are available. Internationalizing Host Names In Applications (IDNA) supports "a mechanism that requires no changes to any DNS server or resolver that will allow internationalized host names to be used by end users with changes only to applications." Han Ideograph (CJK) for Internationalized Domain Names "attempts to address some of the issues on doing han folding with respect to IDN.."
  • Character Normalization in IETF Protocols "proposes that in IETF protocols, the class of duplicates called canonical equivalents be dealt with by using Early Uniform Normalization according to Unicode Normalization Form C, Canonical Composition (NFC)," thereby standardizing much Unicode processing within IETF development.

The IETF has also released a DTD for a roaming phonebook, and BRACE, a reversible function for converting UTF-16 strings to ASCII.

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