Father of the Web weighs up IIOP and HTTP

Will the Internet Inter-Orb Protocol replace Hypertext Transfer Protocol as the predominant communications protocol for the World Wide Web? Tim Berners-Lee is having a bob each way.

Will the Internet Inter-Orb Protocol replace Hypertext Transfer Protocol as the predominant communications protocol for the World Wide Web?

At Object World West last year, Netscape Communications Corp.'s Marc Andreessen said it will, since IIOP enables objects to communicate over a TCP/IP network. But during his Object World East keynote here last week, Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium and the man credited with inventing the Web itself, took a more moderate stand.

Philosophically, Berners-Lee says, it is always worth having two protocols, to foster innovation.

There has been some talk of trying to fold HTTP and IIOP together. But Berners-Lee says there are differences between them, such as data formats, definition of interfaces, and extensibility.

"There are a lot of different dimensions in which HTTP and IIOP are different and they should be addressed separately," Berners-Lee says.

The World Wide Web Consortium, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, can be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.w3.org/.

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