DR-09-0032 and DR-09-0034

Shawn Villaron shawnv at exchange.microsoft.com
Tue Feb 17 01:26:50 CET 2009

DR-09-0032: General: Inappropriate use of "content type"
DR-09-0034: General: Numerous media types should be registered at IANA


I've been going through many of the items listed in the latest defect log and I was hoping someone could help me better understand DR-09-0032 and DR-09-0034.

In DR-09-0032, it is pointed out that in the Terms and Definitions section, we define the term content type and provide a reference to RFC 2616.  The issue is that the term as it is currently used would better be described using the term media type and that the better reference would be RFC 2046.

While I can appreciate being as specific as possible regarding the terminology we use, I believe the intent of the opening paragraph was to pre-empt this issue ( bold emphasis mine ):

For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply. Other terms are defined where they appear in italic typeface, on the left side of a syntax rule, or within subclauses of language-specific grammars (§17.16 and §18.17). Terms explicitly defined in this Part of ISO/IEC 29500 are not to be presumed to refer implicitly to similar terms defined elsewhere. [Note: This part uses OPC-related terms, which are defined in ISO/IEC 29500-2. end note]

Regardless of the intent, I am curious as to what form of remedy we are being asked for; for example, is the remedy to change the prose only in the Terms and Definitions section, is it to change the prose throughout the standard, and/or does it include making schema changes?  For example, how does this relate to the [Content_Types].xml part in OPC?  Changes impacting schema and OPC could have profound consequences to existing implementations as well as the corpus of existing documents.

In DR-09-0034 we are being asked to register the set of content types/media types found in the standard.  I must admit that my understanding with regard to the pros/cons of IANA registration is lacking.  Could someone help me understand the benefits of registering these types?  Are they any tangible consequences to their registration?  Does the group have thoughts as to which entity should do the registration?  Learning a bit more about IANA registration would help me evaluate the practical impact on interoperability these changes would have.

Thanks in advance,

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