Re: FW: Last Call: The Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol to ProposedStandard

Adam Cain (
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 13:28:32 -0500

> Rohit, nobody's actually planning on implementing this, are they?

Well, we have an implementation of S-HTTP 1.1 available for beta test.
I'm not saying that this is the way of the future; the release announced
below is meant to be mostly educational -- so interested folks can see one way
to implement signed content, for example. (it's also to follow through
on NCSA's outstanding commitments, and believe me, they are OUTSTANDING!).



This is to announce the availability of NCSA HTTPd version 1.6b1.
It is accompanied by a version of XMosaic (2.6s_b1) which can be
used for testing the security features.

To participate in the beta testing effort, please see

What's New:

The main difference between 1.6b1 and 1.5.2 is the addition of
support for the following security protocols:

-- Secure-HTTP (version 1.1)
-- SSL versions 2.0 and 3.0

XMosaic 2.6s_b1 supports these protocols as well.


We recognize that there are many fine web servers availble on the
Internet, some even for free. In releasing NCSA HTTPd 1.6b1, we are
niether trying to 'outdo' other server development efforts, nor are we
expecting to provide a server which will meet all possible needs.
Rather, we wish to follow through on our commitment to making novel
features available for experimentation and testing. The capability
of performing digital signature-based authentication (via S-HTTP in
1.6b1) is an example of a feature we see lacking in the Web today.

Obtaining HTTPd 1.6b1:

Currently, HTTPd 1.6b1 is available in binary form to registered,
domestic users. An exportable version will be available eventually,
and we will announce its availability by the same means. To register
for beta testing 1.6b1, please go to the URL given above, and select
the "register here" link after reading the page.

The documentation (under construction) for this release is available at

The HyperNews page (good for bug reports, questions, discussion) is at

Administrative requests may be directed to


Adam Cain