HTTP protocol upgrade

Tim Berners-Lee (
Mon, 7 Dec 92 13:05:17 +0100

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 13:05:17 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: HTTP protocol upgrade

I propose that the actual form of the upgraged HTTP protocol is as follows.  
details are in
This follows on from the work which Carl Barker did over the summer, but makes  
it easier to merge with mail-based applications, and includes  

The client currently sends a request

	GET  <url>

and that must be recognized by new servers. We extend this in two ways, firstly
to make GEt a specific example of a method to be applied to the object denoted
by the url, and secondly to add on the same line a third field (ignored by  
existing servers) whcih gives the protocol number being used.

New servers will check out the verstion number and read more data which  
follows, allowing such extensions as

	GET /junk/mydoc  HTRQ/1.0
	From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
	Accept: text/plain, text/html, image/GIF(0.0,.5)
	Accept-Encoding: X-Compress, base64, X-tar, X-Nextmail
with reponse

	HTTP-Version: 1.0
	Response: OK
	MIME-Content-type: image/GIF

etc etc.  The spec hasn't been completely extended to contain all the  
authorization features yet, but comments on the general direction are welcoime  
at this stage.