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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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HTTP Content and Transfer Encodings

Two specific issues that HTTP must address in order to carry a wide variety of media types in its messages are encoding the data and identifying its type and characteristics. HTTP borrows from MIME the notion of media types and the Content-Type header to handle type identification, as explained in the previous section. It similarly borrows concepts and headers from MIME to deal with the encoding issue. Here, however, we run into some of the important differences between HTTP and MIME.

Encoding was a significant issue for MIME, because it was created for the specific purpose of sending nontext data using the old RFC 822 email message standard (discussed in Chapter 76). RFC 822 imposes several significant restrictions ...

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