7.2.1 Type

When an entity-body is included with a message, the data type of that body is determined via the header fields Content-Type and Content- Encoding. These define a two-layer, ordered encoding model:


:= Content-Encoding( Content-Type( data )

entity-body := Content-Encoding( Content-Type( data ) ) Content-Type specifies the media type of the underlying data. Content-Encoding may be used to indicate any additional content codings applied to the data, usually for the purpose of data compression, that are a property of the requested resource. There is no default encoding.

Any HTTP/1.1 message containing an entity-body SHOULD include a Content-Type header field defining the media type of that body. If and only if the media type is not given by a Content-Type field, the recipient MAY attempt to guess the media type via inspection of its content and/or the name extension(s) of the URI used to identify the resource. If the media type remains unknown, the recipient SHOULD treat it as type "application/octet-stream".