Due to lack of resources, the World Wide Web Consortium is unable to continue the development and support of libwww. The purpose of this message is to get more information from the existing libwww user community to know what steps should be taken next.
Libwww is a highly modular, general-purpose client side Web API written in C for Unix and Windows (Win32). It's well suited for both small and large applications, like browser/editors, robots, batch tools, etc. Pluggable modules provided with libwww include a complete HTTP/1.1 implementation (with caching, pipelining, PUT, POST, Digest Authentication, deflate, etc), MySQL logging, FTP, HTML/4, XML (expat), RDF (SiRPAC), WebDAV, and much more. The purpose of libwww is to serve as a testbed for protocol experiments.
Development of libwww goes back to 1991. Inside W3C, it had a major role within the HTTP Working Group. More recently, it is being used by the Amaya editor and browser. There are other HTTP libraries developed by other people. However, libwww is the only library that has a full implementation of the HTTP specification, including caching and pipelining.
In order to evaluate whether there are enough people willing to continue working on libwww or if the project should be stopped, we would appreciate your taking some time to answer a survey on "The Future of libwww". We're conducting this survey in order to get a better idea of what are libwww's limitations, where new developments/effort should be invested, and how many people are actively using it.
We have prepared a public on-line WBS survey at http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/1/libwww/. Having an on-line survey allows us to compile the results on-the-fly.
If you have never answered a WBS questionnaire before you will need to request a W3C account. If you work for a W3C Member, please complete a W3C Access Request (Member-only link). If you are a member of the public, please request a W3C Public Account. Sorry for this inconvenience.
The survey is open from September 2 up to September 30, 2003. Individual answers will be kept confidential. Overall results will be made available on this page and they will also be posted to the regular libwww mailing list.
Thanks for your comments and views!
N.B. This survey doesn't mean that W3C plans to invest more resources on libwww or its further development. We expect this effort to come from the open source community.