Http 2 update

HTTP set to receive major update after 16 years with HTTP/2

http2-httpThe HTTP protocol happens to be one of the most fundamental and oldest elements of the World Wide Web and remains embedded in almost all the domains found on the Internet. However, it is set to receive an important update soon and the new version has already received approval. It is just a matter of time before the new update, officially named the HTTP/2 gets completely standardized. The update is the outcome of a lot of toil and research and has been in the works for numerous years. Upon its widespread adoption, the HTTP protocol will no longer be in use and will effectively be replaced by the HTTP/2 which is directly going to affect all the users on the Internet. No fixed date for the implementation of the new update has been announced and it could be months or even years before this new protocol becomes widely adopted throughout the globe. However, there is no doubt that when the HTTP protocol does get updated, it is going to set the stage for a quicker, more secure and more robust Internet experience for the users.

The development of the new HTTP/2 protocol can be credited to the IETF HTTP Working Group as well as Mark Nottingham, who happens to be the chairman of the group. The latter stated in his blog that the standard for the new update has been finalized and all that it is left is to go through the tiresome editorial process before it can be published all over the Internet.

Word around the Internet is that Google had an important role to play in the process of development for the new protocol. There are several reports which suggest that even though the main developer of the HTTP/2 protocol is the IETP HTTP Working Group, the foundation of the new protocol is the SPDY protocol introduced by Google, which results in more efficient and smoother communication between the server and the client, thereby resulting in a reduction in latency and offering improved security features. Both of these factors are integral to the online browsing experience of the user since they contribute to faster load times of web pages.

HTTP/2 happens to use the same developer API like the previous versions but the main point of difference is the addition of several new and advanced features. This is necessary to make the process of transition from the earlier version simpler and less cumbersome for the web developers. Google has already made official announcements that it is planning to switch over Chrome completely to the HTTP/2 protocol as soon as it is officially released on the Internet and aims to provide users with the best online browsing experience.

One of the highlights of HTTP/2 is that it makes use of fewer connections when compared to the past versions of the standard. This means that the load on the networks and the servers happens to be comparatively less and the new protocol actually enhances the online experience. This new standard also permits multiple HTTP requests to be sent at the same time simultaneously without the addition of any kind of extra load on the server, unlike the previous standards which lacked this feature. In the past if too many requests were sent it could lead to a page block.

The addition of these new features has already been planned for the Firefox and Chrome browsers, developed by Mozilla and Google, respectively. Both of them have added the ability for the web developers to test out the new standard from within the browser and they have also updated the browsers with the aid of downloadable test servers so that the developers are able to test the improvements and experience them first-hand before trying them out on the users. Similar to any new web standard, it is going to be a while before a comprehensive implementation of the HTTP/2 takes place throughout the Internet but once it does, it will be integral to a new more secure and safer Internet and that time is almost near.

http2The last update that Hypertext Transfer Protocol before the received was in the year 1999 when the HTTP 1.1 was adopted by websites throughout the world. Expectations are riding high on the HTTP/2 to bring some much-needed changes to the web and it should facilitate quicker page loading times, make sure that connections last for a longer period of time and enable servers to push the data to the cache of the users’ computers so that the computers do not have any need to pull it at a later date.

The need to update HTTP is a pressing one since the standard has carried out all the heavy lifting when it came to bringing web pages to the browser. However, there are certain limits to the capabilities possessed by the HTTP protocol. This is complicated by the fact that the modern web pages contain more features than ever and sometimes this is way beyond the capabilities of something that was last modified 16 years ago. It is now necessary to make web pages more resource-intensive simply to load them in a browser. It is important to understand that every single feature that a web page contains will be counted as a separate HTTP request and the resulting flurry of requests might be enough to slow down the load rate of the user.

The major improvement that the new HTTP/2 protocol will offer against its earlier version is the faster load times on the existing websites owing to the multiplexing feature which is capable of delivering more than one HTTP request at a time. At present, numerous web developers are attempting to minimize the HTTP requests using hacks such as inlining and sprinting which helps by cutting down on the requests. This may be done by combining numerous images into a single file so that it gets loaded all at once. However, these hacks are not without their own share of drawbacks and flaws. Moreover, a good protocol should never be hacked merely to provide the users with acceptable performance. With the new HTTP/2, more requests are no longer going to pose a problem.