MIME-RPC (was Re: REST)

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
location.

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
information.

For massive scalability you need document level
type information.

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

-Alex-

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