HyperText Transfer Protocol (http)
|Name:||HyperText Transfer Protocol|
|Area:||Applications Area (app)|
Larry Masinter <email@example.com>
Note: This working group is jointly chartered by the Applications Area
and the Transport Services Area.
The HTTP Working Group will work on the specification of the Hypertext
Transfer Protocol (HTTP). HTTP is a data access protocol currently run
over TCP and is the basis of the World-Wide Web. The initial work will
be to document existing practice and short-term extensions. Subsequent
work will be to extend and revise the protocol. Directions which have
already been mentioned include:
o improved efficiency,
o extended operations,
o extended negotiation,
o richer metainformation, and
o ties with security protocols.
Note: the HTTP working group will not address HTTP security extensions
as these are expected to be the topic of another working group.
The initial specification of the HTTP protocol was kept in hypertext
form and a snapshot circulated as an Internet draft between 11/93 and
5/94. A revision of the specification by Berners-Lee, Fielding and
Frystyk Nielsen has been circulated as an Internet draft between 11/94
and 5/95. An overview of the state of the specifications and a
repository of pointers to HTTP resources may be found at
Once established, the working group will expand and complete that
document to reflect HTTP/1.0 as it has been implemented by World-Wide
Web clients and servers prior to November 1994. The resulting
specification of HTTP/1.0 will be published for review as an
Internet-Draft and, if deemed appropriate, will be submitted to the
IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard or Informational RFC.
In parallel with the above effort, the working group will consider
enhancements/restrictions to the current practice in order to form a
specification of the HTTP protocol suitable for eventual consideration
as a proposed standard.
Also in parallel with the above efforts, the working group will engage
in defining (or selecting from various definitions) a next-generation
protocol for hypertext transfer (HTTPng).
A description of HTTP/1.0 as it is generally practiced currently on the
Internet has been submitted to become an Informational RFC. The working
group is considering enhancements/restrictions to the current practice
in order to form a specification of the HTTP protocol suitable for
eventual consideration as a proposed standard.
Draft working group charter. Establish mailing list and archive.
Review draft charter for discussion at the Chicago WWWF'94 conference. Invest an interim Chair for the working group. Determine writing assignments for first draft of HTTP/1.0 document.
Meet at the San Jose IETF as a BOF. Review HTTP/1.0 Internet-Draft and decide whether it should be published as Informational, should be a candidate for further working group development, or should be allowed to expire. Determine writing assignments for first drafts of the HTTP/1.1 or HTTPng documents. Establish charter and submit to IESG
Publish an Internet-Draft on HTTP as reflected by current practice (HTTP/1.0)
Revise the Internet-Draft on HTTP/1.0 and, if desired, submit to the IESG for consideration under the category determined at San Jose IETF.
Final review of HTTP/1.1 draft at the Danvers IETF. Revise HTTP/1.1 draft and submit to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard. Review progress on HTTPng.
Initial publication of HTTP/1.1 proposal from document editors.
Publish Internet-Drafts on HTTP/1.0
Final review of HTTPng draft at the Dallas IETF. Revise HTTPng draft and submit to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard. Retrospective look at the activities of the HTTP WG.
Complete review of HTTP/1.1 proposal and pending I-Ds by subgroups: Persistent connections; cache-control and proxy behavior; content negotiation; authentication;state management;range retrievals; extension mechanisms; other new methods and header features.
Submit HTTP/1.1 as Internet-Draft (editing team led by Jim Gettys).
Submit HTTP/1.1 to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Review additional features for HTTP/1.1
Submit HTTP/1.2 to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.