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HTTP working group status & issues (please reply)

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 17:44:28 PDT
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <96Sep23.174428pdt."2759"@golden.parc.xerox.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/1613
As usual, please complain if I've left something out or gotten
something wrong.

In addition, this message contains some questions identified with ***.
If you have brief answers, reply to me and I will summarize.  If you
want to discuss something, please reply to the whole working group,
and change the Subject: of your reply to identify the particular

- HTTP/1.1 & digest:

I've been informed by official channels that draft -05 of digest-aa
will be used as the source of the RFC version without any additional
delay (Hooray!). I'm not sure how to measure the queue of the RFC
editor to know when the RFCs will issue, but I hope it is very soon.

It is not too early to start reviewing the existing drafts for those
editorial clarifications that we avoided making last round in the name
of speed. Jim Gettys has volunteered to continue as editor as long as
there's no requirement for massive reorganization.

In order to progress from 'proposed' to 'draft', we need two
independent implementations (of every single feature!) I think
'independent' may mean 'not starting from the same reference

- state (cookies): draft-ietf-http-state-mgmt-03.txt
   Last call expired August 20. No discussion that I can see.
   Expect IESG action soon.

- shttp: draft-ietf-wts-shttp-03.txt
   I believe the Last Call expired; I've seen no discussion.
   Expect IESG action soon.

- hit metering: draft-ietf-http-hit-metering-00.txt
  I've seen no recent discussion on this topic. There were enough
  questions about the utility of this that I propose the
  authors either submit it as "Experimental" or drop it.
  *** Speak now if you disagree with this plan.

- PEP: draft-khare-http-pep-01.txt
  There was a lot of dissatisfaction with the previous draft.
  A new draft was promised but has not been delivered. I don't
  think I've had any new information from Rohit or anyone
  else in W3C about this. (At this point, I can't even find
  anything at www.w3.org about PEP.)

  I don't want to drop an item that the working group seemed
  to want to pursue.  However, in lieu of a cooperative editor,
  the options are limited.
  *** If you are willing to volunteer to edit a Protocol Extension
  *** draft for the HTTP Working Group, please let me know.
  *** Without a volunteer, we will drop the issue.

- content negotiation, features
  There's been much discussion and revision. I think we're making
  progress. (see below).

- referrals proposal: (no draft)
  There's no draft, and no progress. Dropped.

- GET-with-body or idempotent-POST
  Discussed on the working group; there seems to be enough
  demand, but not a lot of clarity on the solution.
  *** I'd like a brief note from you about your opinion,
      especially if you haven't responded on this before.

- versioning & distributed authoring
  The versioning/distributed authoring group(s) are making
  good progress on requirements and proposals.
  *** Opinions about 'same group' vs 'separate group'?

- interaction with transport
  There've been a number of conversations about possible modifications
  to TCP or use of transports other than TCP as a way to keep 
  HTTP implementations compatible but avoid performance bottlenecks.
  I think these discussions are interesting, important, but don't
  seem to affect HTTP (except perhaps to obviate the need for
  persistent connections).


Given the lack of progress on anything else, I suggest that we focus
on the content negotiation issues, and try to converge on a Proposed
Standard for them in the next few months. This would leave us with a
charter something like this:

12/96: submit negotiation draft(s) for Proposed Standard

1/97: revised HTTP/1.x internet drafts (intended for Draft Standard)

6/97: submit HTTP/1.x (suite) of documents for Draft (or Proposed) Standard,
      superceding previous RFCs. WG closes, mailing list stays open.

Whether 1.x = 1.1 or 1.2 depends on whether any protocol changes need
a version number increment. Whether 6/97 submits for Draft or Proposed
depends on whether we decide to make any additions.

*** Is this schedule OK with you? we're late submitting a revised
    charter, and I hope to converge on this in the next few weeks, so
    please reply soon.


Received on Monday, 23 September 1996 17:51:32 UTC

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