Friday, October 12, 2007

Feature of the Week: Content negotiation

Content negotiation helps to represent a resource at the same URL in different ways considering the capabilities of the requesting user agent. It allows user agents to choose between several representations of a resource by giving an appropriate MIME type in the HTTP-Accept-header.

Browsers typically accept MIME types of text/html to get some human readable representation. A semantic web application, though, might prefer to get a representation of the resource in RDF and thus accepts only application/rdf+xml. In BibSonomy we have added this behaviour to URLs representing particular resources - i.e., a single bookmark or publication reference (which may be represented by several posts). You can access this feature by prepending the /url/ and /bibtex/ URLs with the prefix "/uri/", e.g.,


Depending on the Accept-header of your user agent you get a redirect to the appropriate representation of those resources. You can read some more information on this in the BibSonomy help system.

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