RE: Cool URIs & MIME Types

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From: Dan Kohn (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 08:24:32 PST

Martin, I think your suggestion is very reasonable, but I don't think it's
the standard way most webservers are configured today. In Apache, turning
on Multiviews functionality seems to enable what we're looking for:
>The effect of MultiViews is as follows: if the server
>receives a request for /some/dir/foo, if /some/dir has
>MultiViews enabled, and /some/dir/foo does not exist,
>then the server reads the directory looking for files
>named foo.*, and effectively fakes up a type map which
>names all those files, assigning them the same media
>types and content-encodings it would have if the
>client had asked for one of them by name. It then
>chooses the best match to the client's requirements.

If this is a good way to implement Cool (read: permanent) URLs (and it
appears to be), than I think Tim's document should recommend MultiViews (and
equivalent) by name. Most web content hosters do not support this feature
today, and customers won't be able to demand it unless they can ask for it
by name.

Of course, since content negotiation is not yet widely supported in
browsers, this will most likely serve HTML and GIFs, but it still achieves
much better URL permanence than /some/dir/foo.html.

                - dan

Daniel Kohn <>
tel:+1-425-519-7968  fax:+1-425-602-6223

-----Original Message----- From: Martin J. Duerst [] Sent: Wednesday, 1999-12-29 00:54 To: Dan Kohn Cc: ''; ''; Fork (E-mail) Subject: Re: Cool URIs & MIME Types

At 09:49 99/12/28 -0800, Dan Kohn wrote: > Tim, I was extremely impressed with your essay > <> about architecting permanent URIs, > however I think you need to be clear that by removing the file extension, > you are implicitly suggesting segregating MIME types by directory. If you > think every URI should be it's own directory (not a completely crazy > suggestion), it would be worth making the suggestion explicit.

Hello Dan,

I think you confused something. Leaving out the extension is not the same as using a directory.

For example, you can have mydocument.html and mydocument.pdf as files, and serve them both for .../mydocument choosing the right one depending on content negotiation.

Regards, Martin.

#-#-# Martin J. Du"rst, World Wide Web Consortium #-#-#

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