The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser. HTTP was developed to facilitate hypertext and the World Wide Web.
Development of HTTP was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. Development of HTTP standards was coordinated by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), culminating in the publication of a series of Requests for Comments (RFCs). The first definition of HTTP/1.1, the version of HTTP still in common use, occurred in RFC 2068 in 1997, although this was made obsolete by RFC 2616 in 1999 and then again by the RFC 7230 family of RFCs in 2014.
A later version, the successor HTTP/2, was standardized in 2015 (and HTTP/3 is its proposed successor (Internet Draft), that builds on HTTP/2), and is now supported by major web servers and browsers over Transport Layer Security (TLS) using Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) extension where TLS 1.2 or newer is required.