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Contributing to HTTP

Anyone can contribute to HTTP; you don't have to join the Working Group, because there is no "membership" -- anyone who participates in the work, as outlined below, is part of the HTTP Working Group.

Before doing so, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with our current issues list, charter, and working group home page. If you're new to this, you may also want to read the Tao of the IETF.

Be aware that all contributions fall under the "NOTE WELL" terms outlined below.

Following Discussion

The Working Group has a few venues for discussion:

To be active in the Working Group, you can participate in any of these places. Most activity takes place on the mailing list, but if you just want to comment on and raise issues, that's fine too.

Raising Issues

We use our issues list to track items for discussion and their resolution.

Before filing a new issue, please consider a few things:

  • Issues should be just that; issues with our deliverables, not proposals, questions or support requests.

  • Please review the issues list to make sure that you aren't filing a duplicate.

  • If you're not sure how to phrase your issue, please ask on the mailing list.

Issues can also be raised on the Working Group mailing list by clearly marking them as such (e.g., in the Subject: line).

Be aware that issues might be rephrased, changed in scope, or combined with others, so that the group can focus its efforts. If you feel that such a change loses an important part of your original issue, please bring it up, either in comments or on the list.

Off-topic and duplicate issues will be closed without discussion. Note that comments on individual commits will only be responded to with best effort, and may not be seen.

Resolving Issues

As in all IETF Working Groups, final consensus of the Working Group is determined during Working Group Last Call; consensus established in discussion of issues provides a limited precedent, to prevent revisiting topics unnecessarily. Our issues list provides a mechanism for tracking those discussions and their outcome.

Issues will be labeled by the Chairs as either editorial or design:

  • Design issues require discussion and consensus in the Working Group. This discussion can happen both in the issue and on the Working Group mailing list, as outlined below.

  • Editorial issues can be dealt with by the editor(s) without consensus or notification. Typically, any discussion will take place on the issue itself.

The open design issues in the issues list are those that we are currently or plan to discuss. When a design issue is closed, it implies that the issue's proposed resolution is reflected in the draft; if a closed design issue is labeled with has-consensus, it means that the incorporated resolution has Working Group consensus.

Design issues can be discussed on the mailing list or the issues list. The editors can also propose resolutions to design issues for the group's consideration by incorporating them into the draft(s).

When a new draft is published, the design issues that have been closed since the last draft will be highlighted on the mailing list, to aid reviewers. Once consensus is confirmed, those issues will be labeled with has-consensus.

Note that whether or not a design issue is closed does not reflect consensus of the Working Group; an issue's open/closed state is only used to organise our discussions. If you have a question or problem with an issue in the closed state, please comment on it (either in the issues list or mailing list), and we'll adjust its state accordingly. Note that reopening issues with has-consensus requires new information.

Pull Requests

We welcome pull requests, both for editorial suggestions and to resolve open issues. In the latter case, please identify the relevant issue.

Please do not use a pull request to open a new design issue.

Code of Conduct

The IETF Guidelines for Conduct applies to all Working Group communications and meetings.


Any submission to the IETF intended by the Contributor for publication as all or part of an IETF Internet-Draft or RFC and any statement made within the context of an IETF activity is considered an "IETF Contribution". Such statements include oral statements in IETF sessions, as well as written and electronic communications made at any time or place, which are addressed to:

  • The IETF plenary session
  • The IESG, or any member thereof on behalf of the IESG
  • Any IETF mailing list, including the IETF list itself, any working group or design team list, or any other list functioning under IETF auspices
  • Any IETF working group or portion thereof
  • Any Birds of a Feather (BOF) session
  • The IAB or any member thereof on behalf of the IAB
  • The RFC Editor or the Internet-Drafts function
  • All IETF Contributions are subject to the rules of RFC 5378 and RFC 3979 (updated by RFC 4879).

Statements made outside of an IETF session, mailing list or other function, that are clearly not intended to be input to an IETF activity, group or function, are not IETF Contributions in the context of this notice.

Please consult RFC 5378 and RFC 3979 for details.

A participant in any IETF activity is deemed to accept all IETF rules of process, as documented in Best Current Practices RFCs and IESG Statements.

A participant in any IETF activity acknowledges that written, audio and video records of meetings may be made and may be available to the public.