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HTTP/2 finished, coming to browsers within weeks

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#1 NickAu


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Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:48 PM


The Internet Engineering Task Force's HTTP Working Group has finalized its work on Hypertext Transfer Protocol 2, the successor to the HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 protocols that are the core of the Web.

The working group has actually finalized two closely related specifications. The first is HTTP/2 itself. The second is called HPACK, a specification for compressing HTTP/2 headers.

Work on HTTP/2 began in 2012 in response to the development of Google's SPDY protocol. Google created SPDY to address a number of performance gripes that the company had with traditional HTTP.

Perhaps the biggest issue with HTTP/1.x was its use of multiple connections to load resources in parallel. While a single HTTP/1.x connection between a client and a server can be used to request multiple different objects (the images, CSS, and JavaScript that an HTML page may require), those objects have to be served up in order, one after the other. If one object takes a long time, perhaps because it's very large or perhaps because it requires a lot of server time to create, then all the other objects requested subsequently have to wait.

As a result, most HTTP/1.x connections are used to request just a single object. Web clients do perform parallel loading of the objects that they need, but they do so by creating multiple connections to each server. But this has a cost of its own: it uses up additional network resources, and it takes extra time, with each individual connection requiring several transfers from client to server and back again.

HTTP/2 finished, coming to browsers within weeks


The Internet is chirping loudly today with news that draft-17 of the HTTP/2 specification has been anointed proposed standard. huzzah! Some reports talk about it as the future of the web - but the truth is that future is already here today in Firefox.

9% of all Firefox release channel HTTP transactions are already happening over HTTP/2.  There are actually more HTTP/2 connections made than SPDY ones. This is well exercised technology.


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#2 yu gnomi

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:21 PM

I enabled SPDY 4 on Chrome (unless it's enabled by default, in which case I probably disabled it)- are there any perils I need to be aware of from doing this?


I already know about the CRIME malware exploit- which peeks at compressed info traveling from sites to the browser during pageloads and somehow exploits that. From what I have read, I gather that today's browsers are proof against that particular exploit.

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