S. Alexander Jacobson alex@shop.com
Thu, 17 Jan 2002 09:30:31 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

On Wed, 16 Jan 2002, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Maybe a better way to get at this would be just to ask: "Why don't you
> know the types in advance?" But I do think that there is a place in the
> world for simple point-to-point apps where you want your runtime library
> to dynamically unpack types for you.

The reason you want to pass types is because you
may want to send more than one type to the same

In a programmatic context, the best example is
function overloading. If you want to send a
Manager or Employee object to the same location,
you need a way for the recipient to know how to
interpret the data!

In a user context, the best example is openning
e-mail attachments.  How would you open an email
attachment if you don't know its content-type.
(You could specify that people may only send you
text/plain, but that is not what is practiced by
most of the world and would deprive you of
pictures sent to you by friends and family).

Alternatively, I see that you are using
Mozilla.  When you click on a link on a web page,
Mozilla decides whether to open a realplayer,
another browser window, or MSWord based on type

For massive scalability you need document level
type information.

That being said, individual document formats may
not require type information.


S. Alexander Jacobson                   i2x Media
1-212-787-1914 voice                    1-603-288-1280 fax