CFP: HTTP-NG workshop at WWW7

Jim Whitehead (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 19:04:45 -0800

Since I'm spamming the rest of the known universe with this announcement,
I figured I should spam FoRK with it too. Send Rohit or I an email if
you're interested in participating.

- Jim


"Towards a New Generation of HTTP"
A workshop on global hypermedia infrastructure
Held in Conjunction with the 7th Int'l WWW Conference
April 14th, 1998 - Brisbane, Australia


Current Web infrastructure, based on HTML, URIs, and HTTP has created
a dynamic, vibrant global hypermedia information space. As groups
rush to add diverse facilities such as document management and
printing, both locally and globally the extensibility limitations of
the current infrastructure are exposed. The inertia of the installed
base makes the key technical question how to gracefully evolve the web
to include these and other next-generation services. This workshop
provides a timely opportunity to collect researchers and practitioners
from the Web and Hypermedia communities to broadly consider the future
infrastructure of the global hypermedia information space.


The Web community has a broad agenda for the future evolution of Web
infrastructure. Today's infrastructure, based on the triad of HTML,
URIs, and HTTP, has created the main platform for a large and diverse
set of applications providing mission critical services for a
dramatically growing Web community. But, the existing infrastructure
is starting to show its limitations, a victim of its success. The
growing complexity of often undefined or even unintended (or even
conflicting) interactions between extensions has become a threat to
the future evolution of the Web.

Over the next year or so there will be significant, concrete progress
on assessing the limitations of HTTP/1.x and designing extensions to
address them. Some of these areas include performance engineering,
support for extensibility, distributed authoring and versioning,
asynchronous notification, distributed object interfaces, tuning for
embedded Web devices, and realtime multimedia support.

This workshop offers a timely opportunity to collect researchers and
practitioners from the Web and Hypermedia communities to broadly
consider the future infrastructure of the global hypermedia
information space. With over 1.8 million web servers fielded on the
Internet, there is tremendous inertia in the existing Web
infrastructure. Adoption of new Web infrastructure will be slow, and
its effects long-lasting. New infrastructure must be significantly
better in all critical aspects, meeting the needs of a broad spectrum
of users, while resolving existing problems of the current
infrastructure and providing a solid, yet extensible foundation for
future growth.

There are many visions for the future web infrastructure being
developed today:

* The IETF WebDAV working group is an existing effort working to
define the future of the Web. WebDAV, World Wide Web Distributed
Authoring and Versioning, is working to extend the HTTP/1.x protocol
to support remote, asynchronous, collaborative authoring of Web
documents. WebDAV provides an infrastructure for creating locks,
recording properties on resources, collection and namespace
operations, and versioning. Lessons learned from this
effort will inform the development of HTTP-NG.

* Simplifying HTTP implementations and multiplexing concurrent
connections were the twin goals of Simon Spero's 1994-5 era Session
Control Protocol (SCP) and ASN.1-encoded binary HTTP-NG. Both aspects
of his proposal have been quietly explored in the research community
while HTTP/1.1 standardization was in the foreground.

* The Open Hypermedia community has developed the Open Hypermedia
Protocol (OHP) as a communications path between a constellation
of hypermedia aware applications on a user's machine, and a hypermedia
server. OHP raises key issues, questioning why the browser is the
nexus for a user's hypertext interaction, and what services are necessary
to extend the Web's hypermedia capabilities.

* The Web community and the TCP community are coming together to solve
the problem of how to prevent the often highly congested links on
the Internet. Recent studies have shown the importance of
collaboration between all network layers, from IP, to the applications
layer, even extending to Web content.

* W3C officially launched an HTTP-NG activity in July, 1997. This
project will be investigating issues (focusing on simplicity and
extensibility) relevant to the next generation of HTTP, led by
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen and Jim Gettys. The goal of this project
is to investigate whether a generic distributed object system can
form a reliable foundation for the Web. Complementing this effort
to build the Web on top of a distributed object infrastructure, in
August 1997, the IETF held a BOF session for HTTP directions in

We believe the HTTP-NG development process is beginning to coalesce
and the WWW7 conference in April 1998 is an ideal point to discuss
technical and political influences on the future of HTTP. WWW7 offers
a unique, neutral forum to discuss these issues within the Web
community, a forum distinct from existing next generation development
and standardization processes.


This workshop solicits participation from individuals who wish to
discuss the future infrastructure of the World Wide Web.
Specifically, Web and Hypertext practitioners and researchers are
invited to participate.

Participants must submit either a 2-4 page position paper or a
full-length paper on an issue directly related to the next
generation hypermedia infrastructure.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:
- requirements for global hypermedia infrastructure
- prototypes and case studies of innovative hypermedia protocols
- requirements based on evolution of network-layer protocols
- architectural models and approaches
- scenarios of use of next generation hypermedia services
- adoption and deployment issues
- standards process issues

Submission Deadline: March 26, 1998
Acceptance: Rolling acceptance, notification will be mailed within a week
Final Submissions: April 8, 1998

Please submit your paper via email to the workshop organizers at
<> in either HTML 3.2 or Adobe PDF format
by March 26, 1998. Acceptance notification will be made on a rolling
basis within a week of your submission.


Workshop participants will find the following materials to be helpful
background for the workshop.

W3C's HyperText Transfer Protocol Overview

W3C's HyperText Transfer Protocol - Next Generation Overview

W3C's Protocol Extension Protocol for HTTP Overview

IETF WebDAV Working Group

Open Hypermedia Protocol

W3C Note on Network Performance Effects of HTTP/1.1, CSS1, and PNG


Workshop Chairs

* Rohit Khare, U.C. Irvine, <>
* Jim Whitehead, U.C. Irvine, <>
* Henrik Nielsen, World Wide Web Consortium, <>

Workshop Committee

* Roy Fielding, U.C. Irvine, <>
* Henry Sanders, Microsoft, <>


Information on the WWW7 conference can be found at:

Information on this workshop can be found at:

Information on registering for the workshop once you have been
accepted can be found at: