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The Magic Numbers Group Home Page

Welcome the the home page of the Magic Numbers group. We are attempting to evolve a semantic file typing system for the Internet and World Wide Web by building on existing Unix "magic number" conventions.

Our near-term goals are:

Once the magic numbers RFC and the Magic Numbers Registry have been developed, the group may take on other challenges, including extension of the file(1) specification language to be able to get hints from filename patterns.

The charter members of the group were Eric S. Raymond, Daniel Quinlan, Christos Zoulas, and Greg Roelofs. Others have since joined. You can view the mailing list roster here.

If you believe you can contribute, you can join by sending mail to the moderator. We're particularly interested in participation by people with experience in developing Web browsers or navigating the RFC standards track.

You can browse an HTML archive of the mailing list.

You can read the RFC draft and a list of open issues. The draft is nowhere near ready for official submission yet, but motivates and records our discussion.

This page was, rather unaccountably, chosen as Geek Site Of The Day on January 28 1996.

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Eric S. Raymond <>