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News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Technical Architecture Group Produces "Architecture of the World Wide Web"

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 09:52:33 -0500
Message-ID: <3FD73331.4040801@w3.org>
To: W3C News <w3c-news@w3.org>

The W3C's Technical Architecture Group has published the "Architecture 
of the World Wide Web, First Edition" as a W3C Last Call Working Draft, 
soliciting public feedback. According to Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director 
and TAG co-chair, "The TAG wanted to publish the First Edition now 
because it includes a lot of material that the community has wanted to 
find in a readable document."

For more information, or to speak with Members of the TAG, please 
contact Janet Daly, Head of Communications, at +1 617 253 5884.


W3C Technical Architecture Group Produces "Architecture of the World 
Wide Web"

TAG Publishes First in Series of Documents to Capture Basic Web Principles

Contact --
     Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613

Web Resources:

Architecture of the World Wide Web:

TAG homepage

This press release:

http://www.w3.org/ -- 10 December 2003 -- The World Wide Web Consortium 
(W3C) announced the publication of "Architecture of the World Wide Web" 
at the IDEAlliance XML 2003 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
The authors of this document, W3C's Technical Architecture Group (TAG), 
invite review by the community of this description of principles that 
guide the evolution of the World Wide Web. The TAG invites comments on 
the First Edition by 5 March 2004; see the TAG home page for more 
information about the review.

Web Architecture Group Distills Conventional Wisdom

In November 2001, W3C responded to a clear demand from the Web community 
and the W3C Membership to write down a description of the architecture 
of the Web. The architecture has been described and debated many times 
in the past, but has not been described in a single, coherent document 
by a group of acknowledged experts, and reviewed in such a focused 
manner by the community.

"The nine people on the TAG today have had a hand in many parts of the 
design of the Web," explains Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, and co-Chair 
of the TAG. "In the Architecture Document, they describe how it works. 
They emphasize what characteristics of the Web must be preserved when 
inventing new technology. They notice where the current systems don't 
adhere well, and as a result show weakness. This document is a pithy 
summary of the wisdom of community."

The TAG conducts its work on an active, public mailing list, which helps 
ensure that its description of the Web reflects the real world concerns 
of developers.

URIs, HTTP, and HTML Anchor the Information Space

Invented less than 15 years ago by Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web 
has become a social and economic fixture that is almost taken for 
granted in many parts of the world. One search engine alone reports 
indexing more than three trillion pages. What design choices have 
enabled such rapid growth? What design choices allow pages to rise and 
fall independently, as well as Web software? The architecture of the Web 
is those properties we desire of it (including the ability to grow 
unbridled) and the design choices made to achieve those properties 
(including decentralized development of pages).

The Web architecture consists of three fundamental concepts: 
identification (URIs), interaction (protocols such as HTTP and SOAP), 
and representation (formats such as HTML, SVG, and PNG). These three 
branches are typified by the familiar user experience of using a browser 
to click on a link that identifies a Web site, leading to interaction 
with the Web site (referred to generically as a "Web resource"), and 
then to the display of information in the browser.

Some of the important topics covered by the Architecture Document 
include important considerations when managing a Web server, such as 
persistence; how to take advantage of "safe" Web interactions and allow 
bookmarking and caching; and pitfalls to avoid when using content 
negotiation. The document also explains how XML fits into the Web, and 
how to ensure that new formats "play well" on the Web.

Through stories, examples, and references to supplementary TAG findings, 
the Architecture Document explains the impact of the design on real 
world issues ranging from designing and registering new document formats 
to managing a Web server.

W3C Invites Broad Review Now, More to Follow

Although the Web begins with identification, interaction, and 
representation, it does not end there. According to Berners-Lee, "This 
document does not solve all of the world's problems. However, it does 
advance the state of the art. The TAG wanted to publish the First 
Edition now because it includes a lot of material
that the community has wanted to find in a readable document."

W3C chartered the TAG as a permanent body with W3C, with participants 
elected and appointed to two-year terms, to follow and guide the 
evolving architecture of the Web. The TAG is one example of how W3C 
coordinates the development of Web technology as part of its mission.

Those TAG participants nominated and elected by the W3C Membership (in
alphabetical order by last name), are:

     * Paul Cotton, Chair of W3C XML Query Working Group and Member of
       the XML Protocol Working Group (Microsoft Corporation)
     * Roy Fielding, Co-author of HTTP/1.1 (Day Consulting and Chairman
       of the Apache Software Foundation)
     * David Orchard, Member of the W3C XML Core and XML Protocol Working
       Groups (BEA Systems)
     * Norman Walsh, Member of the W3C XSL and XML Core Working Groups,
       and the URI Interest Group (Sun Microsystems)
     * Stuart Williams, TAG Co-Chair and former Member of the W3C XML
       Protocol Working Group (Hewlett-Packard Company)

Those TAG participants appointed by the W3C Director (in alphabetical 
order by
last name) are:

     * Tim Bray, Co-editor of W3C XML 1.0 (Antarcti.ca)
     * Dan Connolly, Semantic Web developer, former W3C HTML Working
       Group Chair and XML Activity Lead (W3C)
     * Chris Lilley, Chair, W3C SVG Working Group, and W3C Graphics
       Activity Lead (W3C)

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing 
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its 
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run 
by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT 
CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and 
Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in 
Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of 
information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and
various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new 
technology. To date, nearly 400 organizations are Members of the 
Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/
Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 09:56:59 UTC

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