If you have not been aware of the IETF HTTPbis Working Group and what we do, it is chartered to improve HTTP. For the last decade and a half HTTP/1.1 has been defined by the monolithic and sometimes confusing RFC2616 document with a relatively few extensions. The WG has been putting in a lot of effort to simplify the texts and clarify how the protocol actually works.
If you have been putting off reading the HTTP/1.1 specification because of its enormous length now is a good time to dive in. The text has never been simper and easier to read. Changes from the old document have been kept minimal, but there are some listed in the Appendices.
Mark Nottingham the WG chairman made this formal announcement a few hours ago:
The revision of HTTP/1.1’s specification, obsoleting RFC2616, is complete.
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7230 – Message Syntax and Routing
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7231 – Semantics and Content
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7232 – Conditional Requests
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7233 – Range Requests
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7234 – Caching
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7235 – Authentication
Thanks to everyone who has commented upon, reviewed and otherwise contributed to them over this nearly seven-year(!) effort.
Special thanks to our Area Directors over the years: Lisa Dusseault, Alexey Melnikov, Peter Saint-Andre and Barry Leiba, along with Yves Lafon, who helped edit Range Requests.
Finally, please warmly thank both Roy Fielding and Julian Reschke the next time you see them (I believe beer would be appreciated); the amount of effort that they put into these documents is far, far more than they originally signed up for, and they’ve done an excellent job.
Now, onwards to HTTP/2…
P.S. This document set’s completion also has enabled the publication of these related non-WG documents:
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7238 – The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Status Code 308 (Permanent Redirect)
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7239 – Forwarded HTTP Extension
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7240 – Prefer Header for HTTP
Oh! And one more thank you, to Mark Baker for serving as Shepherd for the Caching doc.