Re: file types

Eric S. Raymond (
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 20:01:31 -0400 (EDT)

Participants in the "file types" thread on www-html will probabbly be
interested to know that Dan Quinlan, Christos Zoulas, Greg Roelofs and
myself have begun a collaboration aimed at writing an Internet RFC on
file magic numbers.

What we intend to do is (1) build an Internet registry of magic number
patterns based on Unix's /etc/magic, (2) build a support library for
programs which wish to be magic-number-aware, (3) issue an RFC describing the
Registry and the library and promulgating standards for picking magic numbers,
and also (4) describing how conformant programs can treat the Internet as
a semantically-typed file store. (This would include the kind of
application behavior many people on the list have been discussing.)

The Magic Numbers project was directly inspired by an earlier remark
in the "file types" thread. Interested parties should send me a
request to join the magic-numbers mailing list.

	<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>