Roy T. Fielding

Senior Principal Scientist, Adobe
Co-founder, Apache HTTP Server Project
Director, The Apache Software Foundation
Ph.D., Information and Computer Science, UC Irvine
  • @fielding; Blog: Untangled
  • Email: fielding at (choose one of) gbiv.com, adobe.com, apache.org

Research Projects

I finished my doctorate within the Software Research Group at UCI. Much of my work was done under the auspices of the Hyperware project and collaborations with industry as part of the Institute for Software Research and its focus on Software Architecture. I still remain in touch with that group by being a member of ISR's External Advisory Committee. My research interests include software design, software architecture for network-based applications, application-level protocol design, open-source software development, and global software engineering environments. Richard N. Taylor was my advisor and dissertation committee chair.

I have been actively involved in the World Wide Web project since 1993. I set up the original UCI-ICS WWW server, created several WWW software packages, and in early 1994 became involved in the effort to specify and improve the WWW infrastructure through the IETF working groups on URI, HTTP, and HTML (the set of protocols that were used to retrieve and view this document).

I also cofounded the Apache HTTP Server Project and am a member and former chairman of the nonprofit Apache Software Foundation. We created the Apache HTTP server that currently dominates the survey of public Internet websites. Apache is my favorite example of the power of global collaboration for the creation of software.

My dissertation, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures, focused on the rationale behind the design of the modern Web architecture and how it differs from other architectural styles.

Papers, Talks, and Specs

Open-Source Software

The Apache Software Foundation
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation for supporting the Apache open-source software projects.
Apache httpd
The best general-purpose HTTP server that money can't buy.
Apache Jackrabbit
A project to create an open source implementation of JSR 170: Content Repository API for Java Technology and its successor JSR 283.
libwww-ada95
A library of Ada95 packages that provides a start for a simple programming interface to the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, we only had the time and resources to finish the first part: the Onions network streams library.
libwww-perl
A library of Perl4 packages which provides a simple and consistent programming interface to the World Wide Web. This library is being developed as a collaborative effort to assist the further development of useful WWW clients and tools.
MOMspider
A web robot for providing multi-owner maintenance of distributed hypertext infostructures.
wwwstat
A package for analyzing httpd server access logs and providing summary statistics in HTML format.

Life Story

What, you're still reading this? According to most hypertext research, you should have become bored by now and moved on to to another page. Well, this is for those who are extra curious (or just have nothing better to do).

My background is a bit odd: I was conceived in New Zealand and born in Laguna Beach, California. Although most of my schooling has been in the U.S., I was taught how to read during a school term in Auckland. My father is an emeritus professor in Social Sciences at UC Irvine, which is why I have been raised a Yank. I was born in September 1965, during the first week of classes of the year UCI was established, so you might say that the two of us grew up together (except for the three years I spent studying Physics and International Politics at Reed College). I am part Maori, Kiwi, Yank, Irish, Scot, Brit, and California beach bum. Like I said, a bit odd.

Most of the rest can be seen in my vita.

I was a Visiting Scholar at MIT/LCS during the summer of 1995, working with Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). You can see my old W3C Home.

I was named by MIT Technology Review as one of the TR100: The top 100 young innovators for 1999. "The 100 young visionaries who our editors and a distinguished Panel of Judges feel have the greatest potential for technological innovation in the 21st century." Gee, no pressure there.

The Association of Computing Machinery recently awarded the 1999 ACM Software System Award to The Apache Group for the Apache HTTP Server. I talked a bit about that honor in an interview with LinuxWorld.

On a more local note, I was named by the UCI Alumni Association as the Outstanding Graduate Student of 2000.

Other Interests

I like playing games -- especially non-betting card games (Bridge, Hearts, etc.) and obscure board games (british rails, naval war, etc.). I also like playing basketball, softball, football and going fishing. Mind you, I haven't had time to do any of these things since I started messing with the Web.

Quotations

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
--- Crowfoot's last words (1890), Blackfoot warrior and orator.

To most readers it will be easy, after reading this tale, to accept Rover's theory that Man is set up deliberately as the antithesis of everything the Dogs stand for, a sort of mythical straw-man, a sociological fable.

This is underlined by the recurring evidence of Man's aimlessness, his constant running hither and yon, his grasping at a way of life which constantly eludes him, possibly because he never knows exactly what he wants.
--- Clifford D. Simak, "City" [Notes on the Fifth Tale], 1952.


Life is a distributed object system. However, communication among humans is a distributed hypermedia system, where the mind's intellect, voice+gestures, eyes+ears, and imagination are all components.
--- Roy T. Fielding, 1998.

Last modified: 19 Nov 2012