mime types and vector graphics

Richard Brodie R.Brodie at rl.ac.uk
Wed Jul 30 12:11:30 CEST 2003

"Terry Hancock" <hancock at anansispaceworks.com> wrote in message
news:eomcnf5kxctp3LqiU-KYvg at august.net...

> Well, that looks a lot like MIME content-types, but not quite.  In
> particular, MIME seems to have nothing to say about vector graphics (I
> guess they must be in the "application" type?).  But I'm not very
> well-informed about MIME, so I wonder if my information is up-to-date.

image/cgm is a registered MIME type, so I guess not. The RFC says
something like - if you need a graphical output device to display it - it's an

> How is SVG specified in MIME, for example?  I've seen "image/svg" and
> "image/svg+xml" and so on in a Google search, but one thing the web does
> poorly is tell you what the date was on the page you're reading! :-O

The trouble is that the W3C doesn't do MIME types, IANA does.
IANA expect the format to be in wide use prior to assigning the
type, which isn't a great fit for how the web works.

So the answer is probably as image/svg+xml eventually.

> When I want to add a vector type, such as DXF, for example, should I go
> with:

image/vnd.dxf  (it's already registered)
if it weren't I'd go with image/x-dxf

> (or maybe something weird along the lines of the svg+xml stuff I saw above,
> that looks frighteningly like adding a third layer in the MIME hierarchy).

The +xml bit is a bit scary. The rationale is that you can do useful processing
on a XML document (e.g browse the document tree) without any specific

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