Markdown MIME type?

Thomas Nichols nichols7 at
Wed Feb 6 18:53:53 EST 2008

John Gruber wrote on 2008/02/06 22:48:

> On Feb 3, 2008, at 2:46 PM, Aristotle Pagaltzis wrote:


>> Regrettably, there still isn’t one registered for Markdown. If my

>> reading of [RFC 4288] is correct, John shouldn’t have any trouble

>> registering eg. `text/vnd.daringfireball.markdown` using the

>> application form at <>.

>> (Most of the “mandatory” fields in that form apply only to MIME

>> types registered in the standards tree, not the vendor tree.)


> I'm willing to do this, but I don't think I'm familiar enough with the

> associated RFCs to fill out the form accurately.


> Here's the thing, though: (a) To my eyes, "text/x-markdown" looks a

> lot better than "text/vnd.daringfireball.markdown"; and (b) I don't

> have to do a damn thing for "text/x-markdown".


> What exactly would be the practical benefits over just using

> "text/x-markdown"?


> -J.G.


From <> :


Beyond this syntax, the only syntactic constraint on the definition
of subtype names is the desire that their uses must not conflict.
That is, it would be undesirable to have two different communities
using "Content-Type: application/foobar" to mean two different
things. The process of defining new media subtypes, then, is not
intended to be a mechanism for imposing restrictions, but simply a
mechanism for publicizing their definition and usage. There are,
therefore, two acceptable mechanisms for defining new media subtypes:

(1) Private values (starting with "X-") may be defined
bilaterally between two cooperating agents without
outside registration or standardization. Such values
cannot be registered or standardized.

(2) New standard values should be registered with IANA as
described in RFC 2048.


From the wording "Such values cannot be registered or standardized" I'm
guessing that submission to Opera / Mozilla for inclusion as a standard
mime type will be fruitless with an unregistered x-token. It might have
a greater chance if the appropriate RFC-2048 hoops have been jumped
through to register 'text/markdown' -- but I have absolutely no data to
support this whatever, I'd love to be proven wrong.

Looking, for example, at the mime-types supported natively by [Mozilla
on Windows][] it seems there are no 'text/x-foo' or 'text/'
types, though there are plenty of 'application/x-foo' types.

[Mozilla on Windows]:

Of course, this argument is moot if there's no interest in having
browsers handle markdown intelligently. And if 'text/markdown' seems too
painful an option, I'm not sure what 'text/vnd.daringfireball.markdown'
wins you over 'text/x-markdown' other than a certain comfortable
IANA-compliant smugness.

-- Thomas.

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