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Hypertext transfer protocol

The meaning of «hypertext transfer protocol»

RFC 2068 HTTP/1.1 (1997) RFC 2616 HTTP/1.1 (1999) RFC 7230 HTTP/1.1: Message Syntax and Routing (2014) RFC 7231 HTTP/1.1: Semantics and Content (2014) RFC 7232 HTTP/1.1: Conditional Requests (2014) RFC 7233 HTTP/1.1: Range Requests (2014) RFC 7234 HTTP/1.1: Caching (2014) RFC 7235 HTTP/1.1: Authentication (2014) RFC 7540 HTTP/2 (2015)

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 was first documented (as version 1.1) in 1997.[2]

HTTP/2 is a more efficient expression of HTTP's semantics "on the wire", and was published in 2015, and is used by 45% of websites; it is now supported by virtually all web browsers[3] and major web servers over Transport Layer Security (TLS) using an Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) extension[4] where TLS 1.2 or newer is required.[5][6]

HTTP/3 is the proposed successor to HTTP/2,[7][8] and two-thirds of web browser users (both on desktop and mobile) can already use HTTP/3, on the 20% of websites that already support it; it uses QUIC 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 first,[9][10] and is also enabled in Firefox.[11]

HTTP functions as a request–response protocol in the client–server computing model. A web browser, for example, may be the client and an application running on a computer hosting a website may be the server. The client submits an HTTP request message to the server. The server, which provides resources such as HTML files and other content, or performs other functions on behalf of the client, returns a response message to the client. The response contains completion status information about the request and may also contain requested content in its message body.

A web browser is an example of a user agent (UA). Other types of user agent include the indexing software used by search providers (web crawlers), voice browsers, mobile apps, and other software that accesses, consumes, or displays web content.

HTTP is designed to permit intermediate network elements to improve or enable communications between clients and servers. High-traffic websites often benefit from web cache servers that deliver content on behalf of upstream servers to improve response time. Web browsers cache previously accessed web resources and reuse them, when possible, to reduce network traffic. HTTP proxy servers at private network boundaries can facilitate communication for clients without a globally routable address, by relaying messages with external servers.

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