HTTP uses a "<major>.<minor>" numbering scheme to indicate versions of the protocol. The protocol versioning policy is intended to allow the sender to indicate the format of a message and its capacity for understanding further HTTP communication, rather than the features obtained via that communication. No change is made to the version number for the addition of message components which do not affect communication behavior or which only add to extensible field values. The <minor> number is incremented when the changes made to the protocol add features which do not change the general message parsing algorithm, but which may add to the message semantics and imply additional capabilities of the sender. The <major> number is incremented when the format of a message within the protocol is changed.
The version of an HTTP message is indicated by an HTTP-Version field in the first line of the message.
HTTP-Version = "HTTP" "/" 1*DIGIT "." 1*DIGIT
Note that the major and minor numbers MUST be treated as separate integers and that each may be incremented higher than a single digit. Thus, HTTP/2.4 is a lower version than HTTP/2.13, which in turn is lower than HTTP/12.3. Leading zeros MUST be ignored by recipients and MUST NOT be sent.
Applications sending Request or Response messages, as defined by this specification, MUST include an HTTP-Version of "HTTP/1.1". Use of this version number indicates that the sending application is at least conditionally compliant with this specification.
The HTTP version of an application is the highest HTTP version for which the application is at least conditionally compliant. Proxy and gateway applications must be careful when forwarding messages in protocol versions different from that of the application. Since the protocol version indicates the protocol capability of the sender, a proxy/gateway MUST never send a message with a version indicator which is greater than its actual version; if a higher version request is received, the proxy/gateway MUST either downgrade the request version, respond with an error, or switch to tunnel behavior. Requests with a version lower than that of the proxy/gateway's version MAY be upgraded before being forwarded; the proxy/gateway's response to that request MUST be in the same major version as the request.