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From: Martin Hamilton <martin@net.lut.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 02:20:41 +0000
To: www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <E0yCxbt-0004fK-00@gizmo.lut.ac.uk>

At the end of the month, Netscape will be releasing (most of) the
source code to their WWW browser, under a relatively "free" copyright
which (amongst other things?) is intended to support ongoing Internet
community based development of their product.

When you factor in Apache's market share, this means that hacker
powered "products" will account for a significant proportion of both
client and server installations.  According to the February 1998
Netcraft survey, Apache is on around half of the WWW servers Out
There.  I'm missing a recent statistic on browser use (anyone else got
one?), but even given the recent encroachments by Internet Explorer,
it seems reasonable to assume that Netscape still have a very large
number of users.

Why is this interesting/important ?

I think it's both of these things, because the upshot is that hackers
(as opposed to marketing/PR departments, middle managers, and big
business - or waffly academic - oriented "standards" groups) will be
in a position to make an impact on the future development of the WWW.

In particular, I'd like to suggest that now might be a good time to
start thinking about what a next generation "HTTP replacement"
protocol should look like.  I'm not sure whether this list is a good
place to have this discussion, but we should find out pretty
quickly... :-)

The "secure shell" protocol being promulgated through the IETF's
"secsh" working group looks very interesting.  Go to your local
Internet Drafts server and check out draft-ietf-secsh-*.  At a loss ?
Check out <URL:http://www.ietf.org/> for more info.



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Received on Wednesday, 11 March 1998 21:20:45 UTC

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