Communicating Presentation Information in Internet Messages: The Content-Disposition Header Field (RFC2183)
Original Publication Date: 1997-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
R. Troost: AUTHOR [+2]
This memo provides a mechanism whereby messages conforming to the MIME specifications [RFC 2045, RFC 2046, RFC 2047, RFC 2048, RFC 2049] can convey presentational information. It specifies the "Content- Disposition" header field, which is optional and valid for any MIME entity ("message" or "body part"). [STANDARDS-TRACK]
Network Working Group R. Troost Request for Comments: 2183 New Century Systems Updates: 1806 S. Dorner Category: Standards Track QUALCOMM Incorporated K. Moore, Editor University of Tennessee August 1997
Communicating Presentation Information in Internet Messages: The Content-Disposition Header Field
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This memo provides a mechanism whereby messages conforming to the MIME specifications [RFC 2045, RFC 2046, RFC 2047, RFC 2048, RFC 2049] can convey presentational information. It specifies the "Content-Disposition" header field, which is optional and valid for any MIME entity ("message" or "body part"). Two values for this header field are described in this memo; one for the ordinary linear presentation of the body part, and another to facilitate the use of mail to transfer files. It is expected that more values will be defined in the future, and procedures are defined for extending this set of values.
This document is intended as an extension to MIME. As such, the reader is assumed to be familiar with the MIME specifications, and [RFC 822]. The information presented herein supplements but does not replace that found in those documents.
This document is a revision to the Experimental protocol defined in RFC 1806. As compared to RFC 1806, this document contains minor editorial updates, adds new parameters needed to support the File Transfer Body Part, and references a separate specification for the handling of non-ASCII and/or very long parameter values.
Troost, et. al. Standards Track [Page 1]
RFC 2183 Content-Disposition August 1997
MIME specifies a standard format for encapsulating multiple pieces of data into a single Internet message. That document does not address the issue of presentation styles; it provides a framework for the interchange of message content, but leaves presentation issues solely in the hands of mail user agent (MUA) implementors.
Two common ways of presenting multipart electronic messages are as a main document with a list of separate attachments, and as a single document with the various parts expanded (displayed) inline. The display of an attachment is generally construed to require positive action on the part of the recipient, while inline message components are displayed automatically when the message is viewed. A mechanism is needed to allow the sender to transmit this sort of presentational information to the recipient; the Content-Disposition header provides this mechanism, allowing each component of a message to be tagged with an indication of its desired presentation semantics.
Tagging messages in this manner will often be sufficient for ba...