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Re: svn commit: r38567 - in branches/1.6.x: . subversion/mod_dav_svn

From: Stephen Butler <sbutler_at_elego.de>
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 18:53:12 +0200

Quoting Peter Samuelson <peter_at_p12n.org>:

>> > Merge r36720 from trunk.
> [C. Michael Pilato]
>> Sorry if/that I missed the discussion, but how was
>> "application/octet-stream" chosen as the appropriate substitution here? In
>> Apache 2.2, DEFAULT_CONTENT_TYPE is set (by default) to "text/plain", and
>> the default value of DefaultType configuration directive is "text/plain".
>> Did this change in 2.4?

Yes. The DefaultType has been disabled in 2.3. This was discussed
over the course of a few years in Apache issue 13986.


The latest comment:

   Roy T. Fielding 2009-01-30 11:26:55 PST

   Fixed in trunk with rev 739382.

   Disabled DefaultType directive and removed ap_default_type()
   from core. We now exclude Content-Type from responses for which
   a media type has not been configured via mime.types, AddType,
   ForceType, or some other mechanism

I guess the mainstream browsers are taking the mime-type they're
given, nowadays.

> I didn't see any "discussion", but Greg's original log explains:
> | If we can't figure out a good mime type to use, then we'll default to
> | a bag o' bytes: application/octet-stream.
> Certainly application/octet-stream is a reasonable way to express "this
> is a byte stream that we don't know anything about". At the same time,
> it's reasonable for a web server to default to "text/plain", if it is
> serving mostly content that is viewable in a web browser.
> The question then is whether the content and expectations of a typical
> static HTTP root are significantly different from the content and
> expectations of a typical Subversion repository.

The background:

In olden times, if a file's svn:mime-type property was not set,
Subversion's mod_dav_svn set its mime-type to 'text/plain'.

In r14262 this was changed to let mod_mime attempt to set the
mime-type. The fallback was still 'text/plain'.

It was suggested to use Apache's ap_default_type() (IIUC, the
DefaultType directive) as the fallback, instead of 'text/plain'.
Recorded as issue 2304 and fixed for 1.5.0 in r22897.

In r36720 this was changed to use 'application/octet-stream' as the
fallback, because ap_default_type() is gone.

If I understand the Apache issue above, when mod_dav_svn is running
in Apache 2.3+, it shouldn't set a fallback mime-type. At least,
ideally it wouldn't. I don't suppose we have an equivalent to


Stephen Butler | Software Developer
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Received on 2009-08-05 18:53:41 CEST

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