Dissemination of HTTP-NG info [was: hmmm]

Marc Slemko wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Mar 1998, Martin Hamilton wrote:
> [...]
> > 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.

As if we haven't been all along? I agree that our position
will improve substantially when the code is released
(I plan to do a little hacking myself!) and is currently
worse than it once was, but we have been in a position
to make an impact all along.

[I should provide evidence, but I really want to react
to the point below...]

> > 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... :-)
> There are plans for things like HTTP/1.2 (relatively minor) and HTTP-NG
> work is underway that addresses a lot more.  But you can't find out
> anything about HTTP-NG except for the very limited info available at W3C
> unless you are special.  While you may be, I'm not.

It's important to me that the community believes W3C is
running HTTP-NG in a reasonable way. I infer from your
comments that you think we're not. So I'll take the opportunity
to try to convince you.

The HTTP-NG activity is led by Henrik Frystyk Nielsen and
Jim Gettys, who have put a lot of effort into HTTP 1.1, as
I'm sure you know. They (with some other folks from the
W3C team and W3C membership) drafted a project proposal[1] and
recruited participants with the condition that the participants
would commit a significant portion of their time.

[1] http://www.w3.org/Protocols/HTTP-NG/BriefSummary.html

Unlike the IETF, where anybody with an email account can
participate in any working group, W3C reserves the option,
when we set up and activity, to require that the participants
commit to a certain level of participation.

In the case of HTTP-NG, participants are required
to attend teleconferences and face-to-face meetings
and participate actively by email. We believe this is
necessary to keep focus in the group and generally,
to make the project a success.

You say that you're not "special" in a way that suggests you're
not allowed to be. Not so. If you have the relevant
protocol design experience and you're prepared to commit to the level
of participation that the charter requires, you can petition
to join the group with "invited expert" status even if you're
not employed by a W3C member organization.

We generally don't advertise that policy widely; we expect
the folks with the relevant qualification and motivation
to inquire on their own initiative.

Even so, don't let me give the impression that only the
folks who can commit all this time get to see anything
interesting. We do intend to get review from the community
at large, once there are some results to present.

I myself am a bit uncomfortable with the length of time the
group has been working without public release of drafts
for review. But it takes time for a diverse group to
learn to work together as a group, etc.

So I'll tell you (even though I shouldn't say anything
until I have the documents to back it up) that the HTTP-NG drafts
are scheduled for public released in time for
discussion at the L.A. IETF meeting[2] and for WWW7[3].

[2] http://www.ietf.org/meetings/LosAngeles.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/Conferences/WWW7/Announce.html

Keep in mind that this first phase of the HTTP-NG has
a very experimental nature to it. Unlike the IETF HTTP
WG and most other IETF working groups, which start
with a farily complete spec and work in mostly
a review mode, this activity started with a clean slate.
It's a design excercise. Once we shift into "review"
mode, the organization will be totally reconsidered.

I hope you agree that this is a reasonable way to run
the project. I'm interested if you have any reaction.

I'll be even more interested in your comments on
the soon-to-be-released drafts.

Dan Connolly, W3C Architecture Domain Lead

Received on Wednesday, 11 March 1998 23:59:27 UTC