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HTTP Features, Capabilities and Issues
The first four subsections of the
large section covering the Hypertext Transfer Protocol were meant to
give you a good understanding of the fundamental concepts and basic
operation of the protocol. Modern HTTP, however, goes beyond the simple
mechanics by which HTTP requests and responses are exchanged. It includes
a number of features and capabilities that extend the basic protocol
to improve performance and meet the various needs of organizations using
modern TCP/IP internetworks.
In this section, I complete my description
of HTTP by discussing several important matters that are essential to
the operation of the modern World Wide Web. I begin with an overview
of HTTP caching, which is the single most important feature that promotes
efficiency in Web transactions. I discuss the different uses of proxies
in HTTP and some of the issues associated with them. I briefly examine
the issues related to security and privacy in HTTP, and conclude with
a discussion of the matter of state management, and how it is implemented
despite HTTP being an inherently stateless protocol.
Background Information: This section assumes that you have already covered the preceding ones in this larger section on HTTP. If you are not already familiar with concepts such as the HTTP request/reply chain, HTTP message structure and HTTP headers, you should review those materials first.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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