Netscape Navigator has its own set of associations for MIME types. If a MIME type lacks an association, the user gets a message asking what should be done with the file. For example, the FIMS intranet server associates the MIME type application/x-msaccess with Microsoft Access databases, but Navigator may not recognize this MIME type and, if you attempt to access an .mdb file with Navigator you may see a message like the following
Problems can arise if a provider uploads a file with an extension that does not have a MIME type association on the server (or has the wrong MIME type association). For example, the University's public server publish.uwo.ca lacks a MIME type association for the extension *.the. Instead, it applies the default type text/plain. So, if, in Navigator, you try to access http://publish.uwo.ca/~craven/523/craven.the, Navigator will display a page of strange characters, instead of prompting you for where to store a copy of the file.
Other browsers look at the extension and other file features to determine what to do with the file.
Firefox only allows you either to download the file or to cancel the request. In addition to these two choices, Opera and Internet Explorer also allow you to open the file and will call up the correct application to do so, after issuing a warning.
For more technical details on how IE determines MIME types, see:
AddType image/gif .gif.
A default MIME type for other extensions can be set with the DefaultType directive. Syntax: DefaultType MIME-type.