HTTPbis Working Group R. Fielding, Editor
Internet-Draft Adobe
Intended status: Standards Track Y. Lafon, Editor
Expires: February 19, 2013 W3C
M. Nottingham, Editor
Rackspace
J. Reschke, Editor
greenbytes
August 18, 2012

HTTP/1.1, part 0: Introduction
draft-ietf-httpbis-p0-introduction-latest

Abstract

This document is the first in a series that, collectively, define the HyperText Transfer Protocol, version 1.1; otherwise known as HTTP/1.1.

Editorial Note (To be removed by RFC Editor)

Discussion of this draft takes place on the HTTPBIS working group mailing list (ietf-http-wg@w3.org), which is archived at <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/>.

The current issues list is at <http://tools.ietf.org/wg/httpbis/trac/report/3> and related documents (including fancy diffs) can be found at <http://tools.ietf.org/wg/httpbis/>.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

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This Internet-Draft will expire on February 19, 2013.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to the HTTP Document Series

This document is the first in a series that, collectively, define the HyperText Transfer Protocol, version 1.1; otherwise known as HTTP/1.1.

The document series is organized as follows:

The "core" of HTTP/1.1 is defined by the first two specifications. The remaining specifications in the series are generally not mandatory for implementations, but might be required in some implementation or deployment scenarios; when this is the case, it will be noted.

Collectively, these documents obsolete [RFC2616]. Note that many other specifications extend and refine the use of HTTP (generally, as protocol extensions, where allowed by these specifications); they are not considered part of this series, but they are still "part of HTTP".

2. What is HTTP?

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level request/response protocol that uses extensible semantics and MIME-like message payloads for flexible interaction with network-based hypertext information systems. HTTP relies upon the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) standard [RFC3986] to indicate the target resource and relationships between resources.

HTTP is a generic interface protocol for information systems. It is designed to hide the details of how a service is implemented by presenting a uniform interface to clients that is independent of the types of resources provided. Likewise, servers do not need to be aware of each client's purpose: an HTTP request can be considered in isolation rather than being associated with a specific type of client or a predetermined sequence of application steps. The result is a protocol that can be used effectively in many different contexts and for which implementations can evolve independently over time.

HTTP is also designed for use as an intermediation protocol for translating communication to and from non-HTTP information systems. HTTP proxies and gateways can provide access to alternative information services by translating their diverse protocols into a hypertext format that can be viewed and manipulated by clients in the same way as HTTP services.

One consequence of HTTP flexibility is that the protocol cannot be defined in terms of what occurs behind the interface. Instead, we are limited to defining the syntax of communication, the intent of received communication, and the expected behavior of recipients. If the communication is considered in isolation, then successful actions ought to be reflected in corresponding changes to the observable interface provided by servers. However, since multiple clients might act in parallel and perhaps at cross-purposes, we cannot require that such changes be observable beyond the scope of a single response.

[rfc.comment.1: TODO: remove corresponding text from p1 Introduction.]

3. References

3.1 Normative References

[Part1] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 1: Message Routing and Syntax"”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[Part2] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 2: Message Semantics, Payload and Content Negotiation”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semantics-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[Part4] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 4: Conditional Requests”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p4-conditional-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[Part5] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 5: Range Requests”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p5-range-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[Part6] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., Nottingham, M., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 6: Caching”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p6-cache-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[Part7] Fielding, R., Ed., Lafon, Y., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP/1.1, part 7: Authentication”, Internet-Draft draft-ietf-httpbis-p7-auth-latest (work in progress), August 2012.
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, “Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax”, STD 66, RFC 3986, January 2005.

3.2 Informative References

[RFC2616] Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H., Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee, “Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1”, RFC 2616, June 1999.

Authors' Addresses

Roy T. Fielding (editor) Adobe Systems Incorporated345 Park AveSan Jose, CA 95110USAEmail: URI: http://roy.gbiv.com/
Yves Lafon (editor) World Wide Web ConsortiumW3C / ERCIM2004, rte des LuciolesSophia-Antipolis, AM 06902FranceEmail: URI: http://www.raubacapeu.net/people/yves/
Mark Nottingham (editor) RackspaceEmail: URI: http://www.mnot.net/
Julian F. Reschke (editor) greenbytes GmbHHafenweg 16Muenster, NW 48155GermanyEmail: URI: http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/

Index

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