HTTP protocol upgrade

Tim Berners-Lee (
Mon, 7 Dec 92 13:05:17 +0100

I propose that the actual form of the upgraged HTTP protocol is as follows.
details are in
This follows on from the work which Carl Barker did over the summer, but makes
it easier to merge with mail-based applications, and includes

The client currently sends a request

GET <url>

and that must be recognized by new servers. We extend this in two ways, firstly
to make GEt a specific example of a method to be applied to the object denoted
by the url, and secondly to add on the same line a third field (ignored by
existing servers) whcih gives the protocol number being used.

New servers will check out the verstion number and read more data which
follows, allowing such extensions as

GET /junk/mydoc HTRQ/1.0
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Accept: text/plain, text/html, image/GIF(0.0,.5)
Accept-Encoding: X-Compress, base64, X-tar, X-Nextmail

with reponse

HTTP-Version: 1.0
Response: OK
MIME-Content-type: image/GIF

etc etc. The spec hasn't been completely extended to contain all the
authorization features yet, but comments on the general direction are welcoime
at this stage.