Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

The Evolution Of Web Protocols

This page contains access to the paper on "The Evolution Of Web Protocols" which was published in the Journal of Documentation.


This paper is available from the University of Bath institutional repository.

[About] - [MS Word] - [PDF]

Acknowledgements are given to the publisher for permission to host the author's version of this paper.

The paper can also be accessed from <> or from>

Citation Details

The Evolution Of Web Protocols, Kelly, B. Journal of Documentation, pp 71-81, Vol. 55, No. 1 January 1999.


This paper outlines the evolution of World Wide Web protocols. The paper reviews the original protocols developed for the Web, in addressing, transport and data formats. A review of developments of the protocols is given, including developments of web data formats (HTML 4.0, cascading stylesheets and XML), transport (HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/NG) and addressing (URLs). The paper describes how the web initially lacked a metadata architecture and outlines the emergence of a metadata architecture for the web.

The paper includes a review of Web technologies which have a social impact on our society, including the Web Accessibility Initiative, the Digital Signature Initiative and the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project.