Robert McCool

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Robert McCool
Born1973 (age 50–51)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Known for
AwardsIMSA 2007 Alumni Trailblazer[1]

Robert Martin McCool (born 1973), more commonly known as Rob McCool, is a software developer and architect.[2][3][4][5]

McCool was the author of the original NCSA HTTPd web server,[6] later known as the Apache HTTP Server, and until Apache version 2.2, httpd.conf files as distributed contain comments signed with his name. He wrote the first version while he was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he was working with the original NCSA Mosaic team. His twin brother, Mike, also attended the university and would join the Mosaic team to work on a port of the Mosaic software to the Macintosh computer. The brothers received their bachelor's degrees from the university in 1995. They went to high school at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (class of 1991) and Robert was awarded its Alumni Trailblazer Award at its inaugural award event during its 20th anniversary celebration on April 20, 2007.[1]

One of Robert McCool's many contributions was in drafting the initial specification of the Common Gateway Interface (CGI), in collaboration with others on the www-talk mailing list, and providing a reference implementation of CGI in version 1.0 of the NCSA HTTPd web server.[7] The CGI specification, introduced in December 1993, turned out to be a key element in making the World Wide Web dynamic and interactive.

McCool was an early Netscape employee, contributing to Netscape Enterprise Server (e.g., NSAPI) and other server-side systems.

Later, at Stanford University, he co-authored the TAP[8] and KDD systems for automatic augmentation of human-generated web content. He is also the author of various journal and conference articles pertaining to semantic search,[9] semantic web,[10][11] and knowledge provenance.

McCool lives in Menlo Park, California.


  1. ^ a b "News - Awards - Landing Page - IMSA Alumni". Archived from the original on 2016-03-09.
  2. ^ Robert Martin McCool at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ Rob Martin McCool author profile page at the ACM Digital Library Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ Mccool, Rob's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  5. ^ Robert McCool publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  6. ^ "NCSA HTTPd Acknowledgements". Archived from the original on 2009-04-16.
  7. ^ Robinson, D.; Coar, K. (October 2004). "Acknowledgements". The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) Version 1.1. IETF. p. 32. sec. 10. doi:10.17487/RFC3875. RFC 3875.
  8. ^ Guha, R.; McCool, R. (August 2003). "TAP: A Semantic Web platform". Comput. Netw. 42 (5): 557–577. doi:10.1016/S1389-1286(03)00225-1.
  9. ^ Guha, R.; McCool, R.; Miller, E. (2003). Semantic search. WWW'03. Proceedings of the twelfth international conference on World Wide Web. pp. 700–709. doi:10.1145/775152.775250. ISBN 1-58113-680-3.
  10. ^ McCool, R. (2005). "Rethinking the Semantic Web, Part 1". IEEE Internet Computing. 9 (6): 86–88. doi:10.1109/MIC.2005.133. S2CID 195915060.
  11. ^ McCool, R. (2006). "Rethinking the semantic Web. Part 2". IEEE Internet Computing. 10 (1): 93–96. doi:10.1109/MIC.2006.18.

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