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Improve definition of property "encodingFormat" (vs "fileFormat") #1155

tfrancart opened this Issue May 11, 2016 · 5 comments


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tfrancart commented May 11, 2016

Current definition of encodingFormat on schema:MediaObject : "mp3, mpeg4, etc."

Proposal :
"The encoding of the media object. A good practice is to use mime types codes listed at, such as "audio/mpeg", "video/ogg", etc."


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vholland commented May 11, 2016



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sballesteros commented May 11, 2016

It may be good to clarify the difference with that explicitly asks for the MIME type.


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tfrancart commented May 11, 2016

Seems like encodingFormat is a duplicate of fileFormat ?

@danbri danbri changed the title from Improve definition of property "encodingFormat" to Improve definition of property "encodingFormat" (vs "fileFormat") Apr 11, 2018


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danbri commented Apr 11, 2018

Coming to this late, but yeah - it seems both properties are in use in much the same way. The "fileFormat" property always had a weird name in that HTTP-streamed content is generally not thought of as "files".

I suggest we converge them, by making encodingFormat the preferred term, and indicating fileFormat as supersededBy encodingFormat.

We would need to converge the textual definitions, and also

  • allow encodingFormat on CreativeWork, not just MediaObject
  • allow encodingFormat to take both Text and URL values; we allowed URLs to support scientific file formats on Dataset distributions i.e. DataDownload, when the format is well known and documented but doesn't have an IANA media type, see #1191.
  • we will need some wording to explain possible confusion around the "encoding" property, which relates the vaguer kinds of CreativeWork (like a Book or blog post) to specific digital representations e.g. particular ebook formats.
  • will also need to scan through our examples and update accordingly (see below)

@rvguha - does this make sense to you?

Examples that mention fileFormat

-bash-3.2$ find . -name \*examples.txt -exec grep -Hn fileFormat {} \;
./examples.txt:8857:TYPES: accessibilityFeature, accessibilityHazard, fileFormat
./examples.txt:8869: <meta itemprop="fileFormat" content="image/png">
./examples.txt:8880: <meta property="fileFormat" content="image/png">
./examples.txt:8889:TYPES: fileFormat, accessibilityHazard, accessibilityFeature, accessibilityControl, accessibilityAPI
./examples.txt:8902:   <meta itemprop="fileFormat" content="text/html"/>
./examples.txt:8903:   <meta itemprop="fileFormat" content="image/png"/>
./examples.txt:8904:   <meta itemprop="fileFormat" content="text/css"/>
./examples.txt:8905:   <meta itemprop="fileFormat" content="text/javascript"/>
./examples.txt:8923:   <meta property="fileFormat" content="text/html"/>
./examples.txt:8924:   <meta property="fileFormat" content="image/png"/>
./examples.txt:8925:   <meta property="fileFormat" content="text/css"/>
./examples.txt:8926:   <meta property="fileFormat" content="text/javascript"/>
./examples.txt:8948: "fileFormat" : [

danbri added a commit that referenced this issue Apr 26, 2018

Updated to use encodingFormat instead of fileFormat per #1155.
We are converging these two properties. There is nothing wrong
with continuing to use fileFormat, but there is a gentle nudge towards
encodingFormat as the preferred term.

danbri added a commit that referenced this issue Apr 26, 2018

Updated encodingFormat to mean the same thing as fileFormat, and
fileFormat to indicate it has been supersededBy encodingFormat.

/cc #1155

danbri added a commit that referenced this issue Apr 26, 2018

Updated examples to give actual media type values.
Updated definition to give a real example plus MDN link.
/cc #1155

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danbri commented Apr 26, 2018

Ok I have implemented this change, queued for review at and . The phrasing is still a bit awkward, but we've effectively moved the definitions from fileFormat over to be the new preferred term encodingFormat. I've updated the examples to match, including changing values to be MIME style where needed.

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