Tim Bray on Good Web Citizenship

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Tim Bray talks eloquently about what Apple could do to make their IMS service a good web citizen. Including:

  • Don’t invent new URI schemes (Apple uses itms:) since the plumbing of the web doesn’t understand them
  • Don’t use text/xml as the mime type for XML. This is something I wasn’t aware of. It seems that text/* is a license for a proxy to transcode the content, say from UTF-8 to US-ASCII. So the answer is to use application/xml instead avoiding the whole mess.

Postscript Apple also invented a new URI scheme (webcal:) for it’s web calendar service, eg you can get the Australian holidays in ical format at webcal://ical.mac.com/ical/Australian32Holidays.ics — here again, plain http also works. So Apple is using URI schemes as mime-type indicators…