Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is one of the most widely used application protocols on the Internet. Since its publication, RFC 2616 (HTTP 1.1) has served as a foundation for the unprecedented growth of the Internet: billions of devices of all shapes and sizes, from desktop computers to the tiny Web devices in our pockets, speak HTTP every day to deliver news, video, and millions of other Web applications we have all come to depend on in our everyday lives.
What began as a simple one-line protocol for retrieving hypertext (that is, "
GET/document") quickly evolved into a generic hypermedia transport. Now a decade later it is used to power just about any use case imaginable.