For all those tech wizards out there who spend way too much time reading about technology, this is probably one of the biggest updates to internet technology in over fifteen years. HTTP is the protocol that sends packets backwards and forwards over port 80 to give us glorious websites, it actually stands for hyper text transfer protocol. But why would we want to change something that’s so old?
Now obviously it’s a big change because all the technology we use today already incorporate the older standard which has stood the test of time. I was reading through the github page and discovered the new protocol is actually built up from SPDY, reading the features gives us a few clues as to why HTTP2 is so readily needed.
“Multiplexed, prioritized, and compressed” these are such critical things because everyone wants pages to load faster, they want to be able to view pages on their mobiles faster than ever. So if we could compress multiple packets down and send these in a prioritized fashion, whilst multiplexing (multiple streams sent at once). Well.. it means the back and forth of HTTP1 will be gone!
What I really like reading through the charter though, is they plan to keep parts of HTTP1 (well the bits that aren’t broken) retaining all the semantics. But removing the stuff that makes the technology so slow!
Personally I love when technology moves ahead, I mean look at how big a change HTML5 and CSS3 made on the internet we see to today.. I can even remember when caching was a new thing.
Bottom line – they are trying to make the most out of the transfer process to supercharge existing websites without trying all that much, once a website is fast.. the only thing that can make it faster is the way it’s delivered.
I do admit the quote “This will almost double load times” seems a bit ambitious, but we’ll see what happens.. It’s actually possible reading the spec for SPDY.