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World Wide Web Consortium Technical Architecture Group Produces "Architecture of the World Wide Web"

  • 11 December, 2003 11:46

<p>The W3C's Technical Architecture Group has published the "Architecture
of the World Wide Web, First Edition" as a W3C Last Call Working Draft,
soliciting public feedback. According to Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director
and TAG co-chair, "The TAG wanted to publish the First Edition now
because it includes a lot of material that the community has wanted to
find in a readable document."</p>
<p>For more information, or to speak with Members of the TAG, please
contact Janet Daly, Head of Communications, at +1 617 253 5884.</p>
<p>W3C Technical Architecture Group Produces "Architecture of the World
Wide Web"</p>
<p>TAG Publishes First in Series of Documents to Capture Basic Web Principles</p>
<p>Contact --
Janet Daly, <janet>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613</janet></p>
<p>Web Resources:</p>
<p>Architecture of the World Wide Web:</p>
<p>TAG homepage</p>
<p>This press release:</p>
<p> -- 10 December 2003 -- The World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) announced the publication of "Architecture of the World Wide Web"
at the IDEAlliance XML 2003 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The authors of this document, W3C's Technical Architecture Group (TAG),
invite review by the community of this description of principles that
guide the evolution of the World Wide Web. The TAG invites comments on
the First Edition by 5 March 2004; see the TAG home page for more
information about the review.</p>
<p>Web Architecture Group Distills Conventional Wisdom</p>
<p>In November 2001, W3C responded to a clear demand from the Web community
and the W3C Membership to write down a description of the architecture
of the Web. The architecture has been described and debated many times
in the past, but has not been described in a single, coherent document
by a group of acknowledged experts, and reviewed in such a focused
manner by the community.</p>
<p>"The nine people on the TAG today have had a hand in many parts of the
design of the Web," explains Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, and co-Chair
of the TAG. "In the Architecture Document, they describe how it works.
They emphasize what characteristics of the Web must be preserved when
inventing new technology. They notice where the current systems don't
adhere well, and as a result show weakness. This document is a pithy
summary of the wisdom of community."</p>
<p>The TAG conducts its work on an active, public mailing list, which helps
ensure that its description of the Web reflects the real world concerns
of developers.</p>
<p>URIs, HTTP, and HTML Anchor the Information Space</p>
<p>Invented less than 15 years ago by Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web
has become a social and economic fixture that is almost taken for
granted in many parts of the world. One search engine alone reports
indexing more than three trillion pages. What design choices have
enabled such rapid growth? What design choices allow pages to rise and
fall independently, as well as Web software? The architecture of the Web
is those properties we desire of it (including the ability to grow
unbridled) and the design choices made to achieve those properties
(including decentralized development of pages).</p>
<p>The Web architecture consists of three fundamental concepts:
identification (URIs), interaction (protocols such as HTTP and SOAP),
and representation (formats such as HTML, SVG, and PNG). These three
branches are typified by the familiar user experience of using a browser
to click on a link that identifies a Web site, leading to interaction
with the Web site (referred to generically as a "Web resource"), and
then to the display of information in the browser.</p>
<p>Some of the important topics covered by the Architecture Document
include important considerations when managing a Web server, such as
persistence; how to take advantage of "safe" Web interactions and allow
bookmarking and caching; and pitfalls to avoid when using content
negotiation. The document also explains how XML fits into the Web, and
how to ensure that new formats "play well" on the Web.</p>
<p>Through stories, examples, and references to supplementary TAG findings,
the Architecture Document explains the impact of the design on real
world issues ranging from designing and registering new document formats
to managing a Web server.</p>
<p>W3C Invites Broad Review Now, More to Follow</p>
<p>Although the Web begins with identification, interaction, and
representation, it does not end there. According to Berners-Lee, "This
document does not solve all of the world's problems. However, it does
advance the state of the art. The TAG wanted to publish the First
Edition now because it includes a lot of material
that the community has wanted to find in a readable document."</p>
<p>W3C chartered the TAG as a permanent body with W3C, with participants
elected and appointed to two-year terms, to follow and guide the
evolving architecture of the Web. The TAG is one example of how W3C
coordinates the development of Web technology as part of its mission.</p>
<p>Those TAG participants nominated and elected by the W3C Membership (in
alphabetical order by last name), are:</p>
<p>* Paul Cotton, Chair of W3C XML Query Working Group and Member of
the XML Protocol Working Group (Microsoft Corporation)
* Roy Fielding, Co-author of HTTP/1.1 (Day Consulting and Chairman
of the Apache Software Foundation)
* David Orchard, Member of the W3C XML Core and XML Protocol Working
Groups (BEA Systems)
* Norman Walsh, Member of the W3C XSL and XML Core Working Groups,
and the URI Interest Group (Sun Microsystems)
* Stuart Williams, TAG Co-Chair and former Member of the W3C XML
Protocol Working Group (Hewlett-Packard Company)</p>
<p>Those TAG participants appointed by the W3C Director (in alphabetical
order by
last name) are:</p>
<p>* Tim Bray, Co-editor of W3C XML 1.0 (
* Dan Connolly, Semantic Web developer, former W3C HTML Working
Group Chair and XML Activity Lead (W3C)
* Chris Lilley, Chair, W3C SVG Working Group, and W3C Graphics
Activity Lead (W3C)</p>
<p>About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]</p>
<p>The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT
CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and
Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in
Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of
information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and
various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new
technology. To date, nearly 400 organizations are Members of the
Consortium. For more information see</p>

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