One of the first posts I made to this blog was an anecdote about the birth of DWF:
Birth of DWF: "I can have Carol call you."
Though humorous in nature, the lesson to be learned from that story is that the MIME type for DWF should be in place on the server well in advance of when it is needed.
The Hello People Mime Troupe
No - not that kind of MIME type. Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an internet standard that defines what type of file a collection of data is. We are not talking about street performers here. :-)
With this in mind, I am telling you this now. If you need to share DWFx files on your server, you will want to add the
MIME type to your server with .dwfx as the recognized extension. How this is done depends on the type of server. Consult your server documentation for help on adding MIME types. If you fail to do so, the DWFx file will be treated as a zip file. When you wish to view a DWFx file with Autodesk Design Review 2008, instead you will see a dialog:
Clicking open on this dialog will display the contents of the DWFx file:
After all, a DWFx file is a zip file. We just need a way to tell the server to treat it like a DWFx file and not a zip file. The DWFx MIME type makes that happen.
I guess if we run into problems the new mantra will be: "I can have Carl call you." Wow. It's been 12 years, and I only need to delete the "o" to make it current. Philosopher Georges Santayana is credited with saying: "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it." Let's not have a repeat of the missing MIME type.
Sharing DWFx files via web servers opens many doors for design data. Users of Microsoft Windows Vista can view and print the design data without the need to install additional software. This will allow DWFx to reach a heretofore untapped audience of participants in various design related workflows. And workflows are what's it's all about - that's how DWF (in this case, the DWFx version) goes beyond the paper.