Submission of XML Media Types Registration

From Fri Jun  5 15:09:27 1998
From: Jim Whitehead <>
Subject: Submission of XML Media Types Registration
To: Keith Moore <>,
Cc: XML SIG <>,,
[*Publicly archived with permission from the author]

Jim Whitehead and Murata Makoto hereby submit the document, "XML Media Types", in its authoritative form at:

for approval by the IESG as an Informational RFC. Approval of this RFC will allow IANA to register the media types, text/xml and application/xml for use in labeling the transport of Extensible Markup Language (XML) content on the Internet.

The document's abstract reads:

This document proposes two new media subtypes, text/xml and application/xml, for use in exchanging network entities which are conforming Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains.

This document has received substantial review from the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Special Interest Group mailing list, and has received additional valuable feedback from the IETF-Types mailing list.

Since XML can be encoded in the UTF-16 charset, which uses multiple octets per character, the registration of XML did not fit neatly within the existing MIME framework of top-level types. This document represents a series of tradeoffs between the desire to use the text type for XML, and the deficiencies of text for multi-octet charsets. The authors believe a much cleaner registration of XML would be possible if a new top-level media type existed which cleanly supported textual content in multi-octet charsets.

However, given the broad desire to begin sending XML across the Internet today, a need exists to perform the best possible media type registration of XML given the current media types framework. Even if a new top-level media type for internationalized textual data were to be created in the near future, the media type registrations in draft-whitehead-mime-xml-04 would be useful in the transition period as MIME processors are updated to use the new top level type.

Feel free to contact Jim Whitehead at, or Murata Makoto at if you have any questions or concerns about the XML media types registration document.

- Jim Whitehead

- Murata Makoto