XML has two MIME types,application/xml and text/xml . These are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference which is why application/xml is generally recommended over the latter.
Let me explain why: according to the standard, text/* -MIME types have a us-ascii character set unless otherwise specified in the HTTP headers. This effectively means that any encoding defined in the XML prolog (e.g. <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>) is ignored. This is of course not the expected and desired behaviour.
To further complicate matters, most/all browser implementations actually implement nonstandard behaviour for text/xml because they process the encoding as if it were application/xml .
So, text/* has encoding issues, and is not implemented by browsers in a standards-compliant manner, which is why using application/* is recommended.