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HTTP (httpbis)

Acronym httpbis
Area Web and Internet Transport (wit)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-httpbis-08 Approved
Document dependencies
Additional resources Zulip stream
alternate list archives
home page
Personnel Chairs Mark Nottingham, Tommy Pauly
Area Director Francesca Palombini
Mailing list Address
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Charter for Working Group

This Working Group is charged with maintaining and developing the "core" specifications for HTTP, and generic extensions to it (i.e., those that are not specific to one application).

Its current work items are:

HTTP/1.1 Revision

After the revision of the core HTTP document set in the RFC723x series, the Working Group published HTTP/2, which defines an alternative mapping of HTTP's semantics to TCP, and introduced new capabilities, like Server Push.

Additionally, several ambiguities, interoperability issues and errata have been identified since their publication.

The Working Group will revise the "core" HTTP document set (RFC 7230-RFC 7235) to:

  • Incorporate errata

  • Address ambiguities

  • Fix editorial problems which have led to misunderstandings of the specification

  • Clarify conformance requirements

  • Remove known ambiguities where they affect interoperability

  • Clarify existing methods of extensibility

  • Remove or deprecate those features that are not widely implemented and also unduly affect interoperability

  • Where necessary, add implementation advice

In doing so, it should consider:

  • Implementer experience

  • Demonstrated use of HTTP

  • Impact on existing implementations and deployments


Upon request from the QUIC Working Group, the HTTPBIS Working Group will review the QUIC Working Group's documents regarding the use of HTTP over the transport protocol they define, providing feedback and collaborating where necessary.

Once the QUIC Working Group publishes the expression of HTTP semantics in QUIC (HTTP/3), the HTTPBIS Working Group will maintain and develop extensions for HTTP/3 as necessary. This includes ancillary specifications (e.g. QPACK).

Other HTTP-Related Work

The Working Group may define extensions and other documents related to HTTP as work items, provided that:

  • They are generic; i.e., not specific to one application using HTTP. Note that Web browsing by definition is a generic use.

  • The Working Group Chairs judge that there is consensus to take on the item and believe that it will not interfere with the work described above, and

  • The Area Director approves the addition and add corresponding milestones.


Order Milestone Associated documents
Last Submit Client-Cert Header draft-ietf-httpbis-client-cert-field
Submit The HTTP QUERY Method draft-ietf-httpbis-safe-method-w-body
Submit Retrofit Structured Fields draft-ietf-httpbis-retrofit
Next Submit RFC6265bis (Cookies) draft-ietf-httpbis-rfc6265bis

Done milestones

Order Milestone Associated documents
Done Submit HTTP Message Signatures draft-ietf-httpbis-message-signatures
Done Submit ORIGIN in HTTP/3 draft-ietf-httpbis-origin-h3
Done Submit Binary Representation of HTTP Messages draft-ietf-httpbis-binary-message
Done Submit Digest Headers draft-ietf-httpbis-digest-headers
Done Submit Proxy-Status Header draft-ietf-httpbis-proxy-status
Done Submit Cache-Status Header draft-ietf-httpbis-cache-header
Done Submit Building Protocols with HTTP (BCP56bis) draft-ietf-httpbis-bcp56bis
Done Submit Structured Headers draft-ietf-httpbis-header-structure
Done Submit Client Hints draft-ietf-httpbis-client-hints
Done Submit the "core" HTTP documents for consideration as Internet Standards draft-ietf-httpbis-semantics

Parked milestones

Order Milestone Associated documents
Parked Submit HTTP Alternative Services draft-ietf-httpbis-rfc7838bis
Parked Submit HTTP Representation Variants draft-ietf-httpbis-variants

5 new milestones currently in Area Director review.