Revised Charter

Its time to revise the charter for the HTTP working group, to bring it
into line with the group's planned activities.  The following reflects
my understanding, as HTTP-WG chairman, of our current work commitments.
To avoid us slipping into bottomless discussions about life, the universe
and everything, can you please limit your comments on the charter revisions
to things that the group has already discussed.

The existing (and sadly out of date) charter is at:

Now that HTTP 1.0 is done, We are currently focussed on two major areas: 
HTTP 1.x and HTTPng.  HTTP 1.x is work on extending the current MIME
based protocol, while HTTPng seeks to replace this with a much more
efficient protocol, with a smooth transition between the two.

Current Milestones:

    o   HTTP 1.1 Internet Draft during November 1995
    o   HTTPng Internet Draft + code and test data for March 1996

Additional milestones are needed for revising the Digest Access
Authentication proposal, and for work on HTTP 1.2 (see below).

The HTTP 1.1 work is limited to:

   1) Persistent, stateless connections when client asks and server agrees
      o Connection, Keep-Alive, Transfer-Encoding, valid Content-Length

   2) Cache control and a consistent caching algorithm
      o Cache-Control, URI, better descriptions

   3) Preemptive content negotiation
      o Accept, Accept-Encoding, Accept-Language, Accept-Charset

   4) Reactive content negotiation
      o 300, 406 responses

   5) Protocol switch header
      o Upgrade

   6) Methods to support client-server capability negotiation

   7) Methods to support user agent authoring and collaboration

   8) A method to support message encapsulation
      o WRAPPED

   9) Digest Authentication - the Digest Access Authentication
      proposal will be revised for submission as a candidate for
      an experimental RFC. Third party digest authentication
      will be deferred to future work

  10) Proxy improvements
      o Forwarded, Proxy-Authenticate and Proxy-Authorization
      o 407 response, and a new response for "Use Proxy"

  11) Defined semantics for metainformation
      o Title, Link, Base, Content-MD5, Content-Language, etc.

  12) Support for resource versioning
      o Lock, Version, Derived-From, Unless (a general-purpose IMS)

HTTP 1.1 is intended as a fast track specification. Any features
that fail to make the cut for 1.1 will be considered for an HTTP 1.2
specification. This is likely to include work on standard mechanisms
for extending and upgrading HTTP transactions.

The HTTPng work is initially limited to:

   1) Fixing HTTP's poor performance over low bandwidth and/or
      high latency connections

   2) Providing greater control over delivery of information between
      clients and servers, including out of order delivery of data and
      much more efficient content negotiation facilities.

HTTPng achieves this aim by a compact binary encoding and by encoding of
header information into contexts that are preserved across requests, and a
design which allows for streaming of requests and responses.  Out of order
delivery and priority control is enabled by using a multiplexing transport,
with an initial implementation of the protocol over TCP.

-- Dave Raggett <> tel: +1 (617) 258 5741 fax: +1 (617) 258 8682
   World Wide Web Consortium, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
   url =

Received on Tuesday, 31 October 1995 14:07:08 UTC