Summary of WWW BOF at IETF

timbl (Tim Berners-Lee)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 19:16:00 MET DST
From: timbl (Tim Berners-Lee)
Message-id: <9304011716.AA02957@ >
Subject: Summary of WWW BOF at IETF

There was a small meeting about WWW at the 26th 
Internet Engineering Task Force meeting in Columbus
Ohio on Tuesday.   This is a summary for the record.

Tim BL

                       WWW BOF Minutes
            This  is a summary of the discussion at the  WWW
          BOF at the 26th IETF.
            Tim   Berners-Lee   mentioned   a   few   recent
                  + NCSA's "Mosaic" WWW client for  X11
                    agreed by the meeting to be the best
                    information access tool to date.  This
                    is at an advanced beta state (version
                    0.12).  FTP pickup rate for this product
                    now excedes that for NCSA telnet.
                  + A Windows client for MS-DOS machines
                    exists, the equivalent of XMosaic but
                    for PCs.   It is user configurable and
                    looks good.  A problem with release is
                    that a runtime licence is needed for te
                    TCP stack used (Distinct).
                  + The growth rate of access to the CERN
                    server has continued to double every
                    four months for the last two years with
                    no sign of tapering off.
     Man pages on the web
            Steve  Romig  of Ohio State was congrtulated  on
          his server server for unix manual pages.  This  is
          a  good  example  of an automatic server  (a  perl
          script  in  this case) which provides  a  powerful
          data  access.   Steve agreed  to  make  his  tools
          available on the web.
     Web Agenda
            There was a discussion of things which should be
          done  to  make  it easier for the web  to  spread.
          These include
                  + Better packaging of CERN sofware, in
                    particular the server: simpler
                    installation, irrelevant file hiding,
                  + Licencising of CERN software:  There was
                    deep concern expressed that investment
                    by others in WWW related projects wuld
                    be jepardized later by CERN's licencing
                    conditions, in the way that the
                    University of Minnesota have pulled the
                    rug out from under the Gopher project.
                    The General Public (Gnu-style) licence
                    was not so acceptable as pure public
                    domain code.  The meeting was quite
                    intent that this be solved very quickly.
                  + A better vt100 full-screen browser is
                    needed for a large dial-up user base.
            NCSA  are  likely to bring out a  public  domain
          very  simple  to  install  server,  as  a  partial
          solution to the first two issues issues.
            There was a proposal to create a small group  to
          implement the vt100 client, which formed and  aims
          to implement the product for public release.
          vt100 client
            [Note:   Minutes  after the BOF we  received  an
          announcement of the "Lynx" 2.0 beta release by Lou
          Montulli.  This may solve the problem or at  least
          provide  a  base.   Lynx is a  vt100  full  screen
          hypertext  WWW client.  Check it out by telnetting
          to and logging  in  as  www.
          Source and binaries are available by anon FTP from
            The  three standards important for WWW  at  this
          stage are:
            The Universal Resource Locators spec defines the
          addressing syntax used by WWW.    This  is  to  be
          released immediately as an Internet Draft for  the
          standards track.
            The    Hypertext    Markup   Language     (HTML)
          specification  defines the  transport  format  for
          menus, hypertext and general online documentation.
          This  must  be  specified at RFC  standards  track
          level  in order to be submitted as a MIME content-
          type.  This in turn is necessary as HTTP uses MIME
          format  for returned multimedia messages,  and  we
          want   it  to  stay  MIME-compliant.   HTML   will
          therefore be released as an Internet Draft as soon
          as possible.
            HTTP is the access protocol used by WWW servers.
          An  extended (back-compatible) version  is in  use
          in the 2.0 and above CERN software.  This is quite
          open  to  extension  and so  any  comment  on  the
          protocol should be discussed on the www-talk list.
            It was agreed to put these documents through the
          IIR  working group whose chaiman, Chis Wieder, has
          agreed  to  oversee their passage.  The  BOF  will
          not, therfore, meet again or propose a WWW working
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     Tim Berners-Lee <>  (chair)
     Jill Foster <>
     Jane Smith <>
     Karen Sollins <>
     Mark Prior <>              *
     Jim Knowles <>
     Steve Romig <>
     Michael Mealing <>   *
     Mitra <>                    *
     Cifford Neuman <>                      *
     Alisa Hata <>              *

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            Unfortunately   many  attendees   left   without
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