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I've been messing around with JSON for some time, just pushing it out as text and it hasn't hurt anybody (that I know of), but I'd like to start doing things properly.

I have seen so many purported "standards" for the JSON content type:


But which is correct, or best? I gather that there are security and browser support issues varying between them.

I know there's a similar question, What MIME type if JSON is being returned by a REST API?, but I'd like a slightly more targeted answer.

Answered By: Gumbo ( 2916)

RFC 4627:

The MIME media type for JSON text is application/json.

When working with PDFs, I've run across the MIME types application/pdf and application/x-pdf among others.

Is there a difference between these two types, and if so what is it? Is one preferred over the other?

I'm working on a web app which must deliver huge amounts of PDFs and I want to do it the correct way, if there is one.

Answered By: Chris Hanson ( 329)

The standard MIME type is application/pdf. The assignment is defined in RFC 3778, The application/pdf Media Type, referenced from the MIME Media Types registry.

MIME types are controlled by a standards body, The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). This is the same organization that manages the root name servers and the IP address space.

The use of x-pdf predates the standardization of the MIME type for PDF. MIME types in the x- namespace are considered experimental, just as those in the vnd. namespace are considered vendor-specific. x-pdf might be used for compatibility with old software.