This area which is part of the W3C technical areas addresses the definition of advanced protocols performing distribution of information in order to decrease response time, network load, and user management. As the Web has grown and continues to grow at exponential rates, the demand for efficient caching and replication has become a clear MUST in the Web architecture. However, it has also become clear that caching and replication affects all layers of the Internet - not only the application layer where HTTP and the Web normally belongs.
It is time for the Web to become an industrial strength resource available anywhere, anytime. Making the Web more robust is a very complex problem involving resource naming, discovery, replication, and propagation. Many of the problems associated with building a robust Web have been subject to research for a long time and real-world solutions are already deployed. Now it is time for technologies such as multicast, directory services, and caching and replication to come together and to collaborate in order to move the Web forward. Read more about the scalability problems of the Web and W3C's position statement on how to proceed.
Check out our list of interesting papers related to propagation, caching and replication. Other papers of interest include
W3C produces a set of Web applications in order to demonstrate and experiment with the development of new Web recommendations and specifications. The W3C Jigsaw server written in Java provides full HTTP/1.1 functionality including caching and persistent connections.
There are not that many mailing lists dedicated to discussing caching and replication. Most often the discussions are part of the HTTP mailing lists or the generic Web lists.
IETF has traditionally been deeply involved in propagation and caching of information as this is an important part of the Internet architecture. There are many examples of caching and propagation from DNS, directory services, and at the lower level of routing protocols. Check out the current list of working groups for more information.
This is a list of caching projects related to the Web. If you have additions then please mail them!
If you have information on any of these or related topics then please send me a note!