Re: Auto-Download tags/function?

Marc VanHeyningen (
Sat, 21 May 1994 22:54:28 -0500

In article <> you write:
>John Lewis writes:
>> Not sure whether this has been discussed before, but...
>> I'm interested in some sort of tag or code which alerts the browser that a
>> particular file is for downloading to the local machine only, such as .zip
>> Is this a feature which exists? If not, is it a reasonable concept?

Well, .zip archives presumably will be tagged as the content-type
application/zip (which is a registered content-type) or maybe
application/octet-stream. Presumably any reasonable browser will
store the results in a file rather than, say, try to display them.
Though, who knows? With a tar file, a user could well fire up emacs
and use its appropriate mode to browse the tar file.

In general, giving the recipient sufficient information to decide
whether the object should be viewed or just saved is probably better
than telling him what to do, though that may become more plausible
with Content-Disposition as it becomes defined.

>No, this information shouldn't be in the link.


>With recent versions of NCSA Mosaic for the X Window System users can
>specify they want certain types of data to be saved to a file and
>not viewed in their .mailcap files. For example:
> video/quicktime; mosiac-internal-dump %s

Ack! If we're going to have lines that are only meaningful to Mosaic,
they should at least be tagged in some way so that other programs
using mailcaps won't try to use them, like maybe:

video/quicktime; mosaic-internal-dump %s; x-mosaiconly; test=false

though it still is anything but clean and elegant...

>I *do* think that browsers should be able to save to a file after they
>download the data and "view" it.

Have to agree there. Browsers also should provide a reasonably easy
way for users to download to a file directly without ever viewing it
if that's what they want.

- Marc

<A HREF="">Marc VanHeyningen</A>