Request for Proposed Recommendation Status: Architecture of the World Wide Web, 1st Edition

by Dan Connolly, for the TAG
$Revision: 1.16 $ of $Date: 2004/11/01 19:48:51 $ see also: changes

This is a transition request. Whereas

the Technical Architecture Group has decided (25Oct) to request that you advance this specification to W3C Proposed Recommendation and call for its review and endorsement by the W3C membership.



The World Wide Web uses relatively simple technologies with sufficient scalability, efficiency and utility that they have resulted in a remarkable information space of interrelated resources, growing across languages, cultures, and media. In an effort to preserve these properties of the information space as the technologies evolve, this architecture document discusses the core design components of the Web. They are identification of resources, representation of resource state, and the protocols that support the interaction between agents and resources in the space. We relate core design components, constraints, and good practices to the principles and properties they support.

The changes since last call include a number of editorial modifications, plus:

Status (Proposed)

see also: First draft of status section for PR document

This is [not yet] a Proposed Rec. It was first released as a 30 August 2002 Working Draft and has been refined in light of comments on a best-effort basis until the 16 August 2004 Last Call Working Draft; since then, all issues raised in public-webarch-comments have been formally addressed.

Reviews are due 8 Dec 2004. provided we ship by 5Nov, according toplan.

hmm... can't find proposed rec boilerplate in process document pubrules, nor transition how-to.

Summary of Review

The TAG started meeting in January 2002; after a period of collecting architectural issues and drafting smaller findings, we release the first Working Draft of webarch, 30 Aug 2002. The working draft was revised a number of times in light of discussion and comments from www-tag.

We released a last call Working Draft 9 Dec 2003 whose scope includes some, but not all of the architectural issues. We decided that progressing this document through the W3C Recommendation Track at this time is of greater value to the community than waiting until all of the architectural issues have been covered, and the 231 issues raised in response to this draft confirm that the community finds it valuable, or at least interesting. We engaged the following peer groups in the last call process:

Addressing the comments on the Dec 2003 draft resulted in such pervasive changes to the document that we reached a point where it was no longer clear which comments remained relevant, so we issued another last call Working Draft, 6 August 2004. We received comments from 18 reviewers ( Amielh, Bray, Dubost, Hawke, Hayes, Hazaël-Massieux, Henderson/QA WG, Ishikawa, Jacobs, Klyne, Kopecky, Masinter, Meyer, Pemberton/HTML WG, Stickler, Uhl, Weitzner, drewangel ) in the last call review period from 6 August 2004 to 17 September 2004 or shortly thereafter. We reached a clear consensus with the reviewer in many cases (37 threads, including spam and off-topic comments). Addressing some comments involved several rounds of negotiation; for example, a joint meeting with the QA WG 27 Sep. In some cases (Weitzner, drewangel, Henderson/QA, Bray) , we recieved neither confirmation nor dissent to our ultimate reply.

Outstanding Formal Objections

There are 3 cases of outstanding dissent:

While we regret that we were unable to achieve consensus with these reviewers, we suggest that the document is sufficiently valuable to the community in its present state to merit advancement to Proposed Recommendation.

Implementation Experience

The subject of the Web Architecture document is not quite the sort of technology that is deployed by direct implementation in software, and hence we do not have a suite of tests by which we test conformance. Rather, the principles in this document are deployed by people developing technologies, tools, content, etc. In particular, they are deployed by other W3C working groups. We have had a number of succesful interactions with other Working Groups regarding principles in the Web Architecture document:

See also: some notes on implementation experience with each principle, constraint, and good practice


since Revision: 1.14 Date: 2004/10/25 21:32:32, announced to chairs@w3.org Mon, 25 Oct 2004 16:38:43 -0500:

$Log: prreq.html,v $
Revision 1.16  2004/11/01 19:48:51  connolly
cite newer SOTD, more implemenation experience doc

Revision 1.15  2004/10/28 20:42:53  connolly
18 reviewers, not 17, including Bray
Bray has a thread in commentor-wait
37 closed thread, not 31
dissent += Kopecky on secondary resources