Google working on HTTP replacement for web

13 Nov 2009

Early stage experiments from Google research labs have shown that its SPDY (pronounced SPeeDY) web protocol can load webpages up to 55pc faster than the current HTTP standard that has been in place since 1996.

SPeeDY does it

Google called HTTP “elegantly simple” but said that in order to continue the spirit of innovation and experimentation of technologies that have furthered the web, it wanted to look at newer, faster ways for web browsers and servers to talk to each other.

Right now, Google has built a prototype web server and Chrome client that have SPDY support.

“So far, we have only tested SPDY in lab conditions,” said Mike Belshe, software engineer and Roberto Peon, software engineer on the official Chromium Blog.

“The initial results are very encouraging: when we download the Top 25 websites over simulated home network connections, we see a significant improvement in performance – pages loaded up to 55pc faster. There is still a lot of work we need to do to evaluate the performance of SPDY in real-world conditions.

Why HTTP is a dinosaur

  • – HTTP can only fetch one request per connection at a time per connection.
  • – Redundant headers. In addition, several headers are repeatedly sent across requests on the same channel.
  • – HTTP uses optional compression encodings for data. Content should always be sent in a compressed format.
  • – Only the client can initiate a request. Even if the server knows the client needs a resource, it has no mechanism to inform them and must instead wait to receive resource request from the client.

“Unfortunately, HTTP was not particularly designed for latency. Furthermore, the web pages transmitted today are significantly different from web pages 10 years ago such and demand improvements to HTTP that could not have been anticipated when HTTP was developed,” stated the Chromium Developer Documentation.

By Marie Boran, via