Re: proposed registration of type 'text/html' for MIME

Tim Berners-Lee (
Thu, 12 Nov 92 17:19:16 +0100

> Here's the form for registering 'text/html' partly filled in, from RFC
> 1341.

> I don't think this needs a ton of work, just to fill in a few of the
> references. As we get some operations experience with it (and some
> applications support!) I could imagine putting more frobs on it. Not
> yet tho.

OK, good idea. Here is a 2nd draft. I have changed:

We restrict it to 7 bit, any 8 bit use is cheating and causes unpredictable
things to happen. SGML provides for funny character encoding like é and
things. We could also make the base character set a parameter (for the Fins).

Should we put a limit on line length? Do we need one to prevent an
encoding system from being mandatory for all HTML documents?

I have put a ref to the HTML spec rather than the HTTP spec. I'll
upgrade that to include the DTD and make it more RFCish (70 characters wide and
stuff ;-)

Subject: Registration of new MIME content-type/subtype text/html

MIME type name:

MIME subtype name:

Required parameters:

Optional parameters:

left open for future study.

Any additional parameters should match up with existing HTML
constructs, so that e.g. the parameter
title="Making links in the web"
would be functionally equivalent to an HTML preamble of
<title>Making links in the web</title>
Encoding considerations:

HTML text should be restricted to ASCII printable characters
unless an extended character set is specfified in an
optioinal parameter (subject for future study). There is no
limit on line length.

Security considerations:

HTML documents may contain embedded information used to

instruct browsers and viewers to execute queries on remote
databases. Some HTML browsers have included support for
embedded command languages. Such facilities should be used
with care.

Published specification:

"Hypertext Markup Language", Tim Berners-Lee, CERN, 1992.

available as
or as by anonymous FTP from

See also:

"The HTTP Protocol as Implemented in W3", avaiable for
anonymous ftp from

Describes the HTTP interactive access protocol and the tags used
in HTML documents.

"The WWW Book", from

"Universal Document Identifiers on the Network", OSI-DS-XXX,
available by anonymous FTP from{txt,ps}.

Person & email address to contact for further information:

Tim Berners-Lee, CERN, 1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland