Why a new protocol?
Existing protocols cover a number of different tasks.
Mail protocols allow the transfer of transient messages from a single author
to a small number of recipients, at the request of the author.
File transfer protocols allow the transfer of data at the request of either
the sender or receiver, but allow little processing of the data at the responding
News protocols allow the broadcast of transient data to a wide audience.
Search and Retrieve protocols allow index searches to be made, and allow
document access. Few exist: Z39.50 is one and could be extended for our needs.
The protocol we need for information access
(HTTP) must provide
A subset of the file transfer functionality
The ability to request an index search
Automatic format negotiation.
The ability to refer the client to another server
@(#) $Id: WhyHTTP.html,v 1.4 1997/08/09 17:57:12 fillault Exp $