W3C Architecture Domain HTTP

PEP - An Extension Mechanism for HTTP

This work is now subsumed by the HTTP Extension Framework - Jan 1999

HTTP is being used for an increasing number of applications involving distributed authoring, collaboration, printing, and various RPC like protocols. PEP is an extension mechanism for HTTP designed to address the tension between private agreement and public specification and to accommodate extension of HTTP clients and servers by software components.

PEP is being discussed in the IETF HTTP working group. Please send comments to this group using the working group's mailing list. Before you send mail please check the archives of the list.

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Why PEP?

Often extensions are deployed dynamically, extending existing applications. They motivate the need to independently introduce extensions and new features to HTTP in such a way that 1) They are orthogonal to other extensions. 2) They can be deployed automatically and dynamically.

This requires:

This form for extensibility is not supported by HTTP/1.1 and PEP is a framework to satisfy these requirements.

Working Drafts and Notes

The PEP specification has gone through a thorough design phase and entered a steady state where the authors do not intend to modify the document any further. At the same time we have developed practical experience with the PEP demo code which demonstrates both client, server, and proxy interactions using dynamic loaded PEP extensions. However, we believe that it is essential for a specification to be tested in real world applications before being deployed at large, which is the reason for the status of Experimental.

See the PEP change history for a list previous drafts of the PEP specification and the PEP Issues page with a list of open and closed issues on the draft.

PEP Demo

There is now a small demo written in Java available that illustates some simple PEP scenarios. The demo can be downloaded and extended as it includes a complete PEP engine.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen and Dan Connolly,
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