Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Hypertext Transfer Protocol
HTTP logo.svg
International standardRFC 1945 HTTP/1.0 (1996)

RFC 2616 HTTP/1.1 (1999)
RFC 7540 HTTP/2 (2015)
RFC 7541 Header Compression (2, 2015)
RFC 7230 Message Syntax and Routing (1.1, 2014)
RFC 7231 Semantics and Content (1.1, 2014)
RFC 7232 Conditional Requests (1.1, 2014)
RFC 7233 Range Requests (1.1, 2014)
RFC 7234 Caching (1.1, 2014)

RFC 7235 Authentication (1.1, 2014)
Developed byinitially CERN; IETF, W3C
Introduced1991 (1991)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application layer protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems.[1] HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser.

Development of HTTP was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. Development of early HTTP Requests for Comments (RFCs) was a coordinated effort by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), with work later moving to the IETF.

HTTP/1.1 was first documented in RFC 2068 in 1997, and as of 2021, it (plus older versions) is less popular (used by less than 45% of web sites; it's always a backup protocol) for web serving than its successors. That specification was obsoleted by RFC 2616 in 1999, which was likewise replaced by the RFC 7230 family of RFCs in 2014.

HTTP/2 is a more efficient expression of HTTP's semantics "on the wire", and was published in 2015, and is used by over 50% of websites; it is now supported by virtually all web browsers[2] and major web servers over Transport Layer Security (TLS) using an Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) extension[3] where TLS 1.2 or newer is required.[4][5]

HTTP/3 is the proposed successor to HTTP/2,[6][7] which is already in use by over 5.8% of websites; and is used by over 7.5% of desktop computers (enabled by default in latest macOS), using UDP instead of TCP for the underlying transport protocol. Like HTTP/2, it does not obsolete previous major versions of the protocol. Support for HTTP/3 was added to Cloudflare and Google Chrome in September 2019,[8][9] and can be enabled in the stable versions of Chrome and Firefox.[10]

  1. ^ Fielding, Roy T.; Gettys, James; Mogul, Jeffrey C.; Nielsen, Henrik Frystyk; Masinter, Larry; Leach, Paul J.; Berners-Lee, Tim (June 1999). Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP/1.1. IETF. doi:10.17487/RFC2616. RFC 2616.
  2. ^ "Can I use... Support tables for HTML5, CSS3, etc". caniuse.com. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  3. ^ "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation Extension". IETF. July 2014. RFC 7301.
  4. ^ Belshe, M.; Peon, R.; Thomson, M. "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Version 2, Use of TLS Features". Retrieved 2015-02-10.
  5. ^ Benjamin, David. "Using TLS 1.3 with HTTP/2". tools.ietf.org. Retrieved 2020-06-02. This lowers the barrier for deploying TLS 1.3, a major security improvement over TLS 1.2.
  6. ^ Bishop, Mike (July 9, 2019). "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Version 3 (HTTP/3)". tools.ietf.org. draft-ietf-quic-http-22. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  7. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin. "HTTP-over-QUIC to be renamed HTTP/3 | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  8. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (26 September 2019). "Cloudflare, Google Chrome, and Firefox add HTTP/3 support". ZDNet. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  9. ^ "HTTP/3: the past, the present, and the future". The Cloudflare Blog. 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  10. ^ "Firefox Nightly supports HTTP 3 - General - Cloudflare Community". 2019-11-19. Retrieved 2020-01-23.

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