IETF 81 Proceedings

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Hypertext Transfer Protocol Bis (httpbis) (WG)

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Chair(s):

Applications Area Director(s):

Applications Area Advisor:

Meeting Slides

Internet-Drafts:

Request for Comments:

Charter (as of 2011-08-18)

HTTP is one of the most successful and widely-used protocols on the
Internet today. However, its specification has several editorial issues.
Additionally, after years of implementation and extension, several
ambiguities have become evident, impairing interoperability and the
ability to easily implement and use HTTP.

The working group will refine RFC2616 to:
* Incorporate errata and updates (e.g., references, IANA registries,
ABNF)
* 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
* Document the security properties of HTTP and its associated mechanisms
(e.g., Basic and Digest authentication, cookies, TLS) for common
applications

It will also incorporate the generic authentication framework from RFC
2617, without obsoleting or updating that specification's definition of
the Basic and Digest schemes.

Finally, it will incorporate relevant portions of RFC 2817 (in
particular, the CONNECT method and advice on the use of Upgrade), so
that that specification can be moved to Historic status.

In doing so, it should consider:
* Implementer experience
* Demonstrated use of HTTP
* Impact on existing implementations and deployments

The Working Group must not introduce a new version of HTTP and should
not add new functionality to HTTP. The WG is not tasked with producing
new methods, headers, or extension mechanisms, but may introduce new
protocol elements if necessary as part of revising existing
functionality which has proven to be problematic.

The Working Group's specification deliverables are:
* A document (or set of documents) that is suitable to supersede RFC
2616 and move RFC 2817 to Historic status
* A document cataloguing the security properties of HTTP

Goals and Milestones:

Done  First HTTP Revision Internet Draft
Done  First HTTP Security Properties Internet Draft
Nov 2010  Request Last Call for HTTP Revision
Nov 2010  Request Last Call for HTTP Security Properties
Apr 2011  Submit HTTP Revision to IESG for consideration as a Draft Standard
Apr 2011  Submit HTTP Security Properties to IESG for consideration as Informational