Browse Prior Art Database

HTTP MIME Type Handler Detection (RFC2936)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005118D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Aug-15
Document File: 14 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Eastlake: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Entities composing web pages to provide services over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) frequently have the problem of not knowing what Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) types have handlers installed at a user's browser. For example, whether an Internet Open Trading Protocol (IOTP) or VRML or SET or some streaming media handler is available. In some cases they would want to display different web pages or content depending on a MIME handler's availability. This document summarizes reasonable techniques to solve this problem for most of the browsers actually deployed on the Internet as of early 2000. It is intended to be of practical use to implementors during the period before the wide deployment of superior standards based techniques which may be developed.

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 14% of the total text.

Network Working Group D. Eastlake Request for Comments: 2936 Motorola Category: Informational C. Smith Royal Bank of Canada D. Soroka

IBM September 2000

HTTP MIME Type Handler Detection

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

Entities composing web pages to provide services over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) frequently have the problem of not knowing what Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) types have handlers installed at a user's browser. For example, whether an Internet Open Trading Protocol (IOTP) or VRML or SET or some streaming media handler is available. In some cases they would want to display different web pages or content depending on a MIME handler's availability. This document summarizes reasonable techniques to solve this problem for most of the browsers actually deployed on the Internet as of early 2000. It is intended to be of practical use to implementors during the period before the wide deployment of superior standards based techniques which may be developed.

Acknowledegements

Helpful comments by Tony Lewis of Visa have been incorporated.

Eastlake, et al. Informational [Page 1]

RFC 2936 HTTP MIME Type Handler Detection September 2000

Table of Contents

1. Introduction................................................. 2 2. The HTTP 'Accept' Header..................................... 2 3. JavaScript................................................... 3 4. ActiveX and the Windows Registry............................. 4 5. ECML, The Electronic Commerce Modeling Language.............. 4 6. Putting It All Together...................................... 5 7. Future Development........................................... 5 8. Security Considerations...................................... 5 9. IANA Considerations.......................................... 6 References...................................................... 6 Appendix A: Browser Version Sniffer Code........................ 8 Authors' Addresses.............................................. 12 Full Copyright Statement........................................ 13

1. Introduction

Entities composing web pages to provide services over [HTTP] frequently have the problem of not knowing what [MIME] types have handlers installed at a user's browser. For example, whether an [IOTP] or VRML or [SET] or some streaming media handler is available. In many cases they would want to display different web pages or content depending on a MIME handler's availability. Sending a response with a MIME type that is not supported frequently results in interrupting the flow of the user experience, browser queries as to what to do with the d...