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Subject: RE: MIME vs pure XML ebXML structure

> Benefits of MIME envelope:
>  - If you are using e-mail, it falls out automatically.
>  - If you want to parse the header but don't want to parse the body
> (content), XML parsers aren't able to arbitrarily stop in the middle of
> a document. (e.g., if you have an ebXML envelope around a huge document
> content and don't want the overhead of parsing the whole thing.) MIME
> allows the header to be a separate attachment from the body, so they can
> be parsed separately.
>  - If you have an XML parsing error anywhere in the document, the parser
> fails. Thus an error in the content will kill parsing of the envelope,
> if it is all XML.

I had not thought of the benefit of having a two part message as separating
header parse errors from body parse errors (which would probably be
generated by the processor not the transport). This would also allow the
implementer to use DOM for the header without a significant penalty (if so
desired). Even if two parts are used I would like to see a clearly
identifiable root tag aroung the header elements.

Maybe a pure XML implementation could be required and that support for a
multi-part MIME implementation be recommended. The Manifest could be used to
identify which option the sender is using.

Jim McCarthy
CTO, WebXi, Inc.

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