Customer reports that the current org.alfresco.httpclient.AbstractHttpClient (and other classes) are using HttpClient version 3.
The API used matches that of httpclient 3. Version 4 of httpclient uses a different package name and the API is significantly different to require a rework of code using it.
Httpclient 3 package prefix: org.apache.commons.httpclient
Httpclient 4 package prefix: org.apache.http
A customer is requesting Apache HttpClient 4.3 be used so it will allow use of alternate authentication methods such as SPNEGO.
The customer has 2 existing authentication mechanisms, Siteminder and SPNEGO. Adding support for SSL would require a third Apache instance, which they are trying to avoid, to limit the number of server instances.