HyperText Transfer Protocol (http)

Charter
Status: Concluded October, 2000 
Chair(s):
 Larry Masinter 
Description of Working Group:
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.
Background information
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
  http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/Protocols/Overview.html
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.

Request for Comments:

  • RFC1945 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.0 (Informational)
  • RFC2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1 (Proposed Standard)
  • RFC2069 An Extension to HTTP: Digest Access Authentication (Proposed Standard)
  • RFC2109 HTTP State Management Mechanism (Proposed Standard)
  • RFC2145 Use and interpretation of HTTP version numbers (Informational)
  • RFC2227 Simple Hit-Metering and Usage-Limiting for HTTP (Proposed Standard)
  • RFC2295 Transparent Content Negotiation in HTTP (Experimental)
  • RFC2296 HTTP Remote Variant Selection Algorithm -- RVSA/1.0 (Experimental)
  • RFC2310 The Safe Response Header Field (Experimental)
  • RFC2616 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1 (Draft Standard)
  • RFC2617 HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication (Draft Standard)
  • RFC2965 HTTP State Management Mechanism (Proposed Standard)