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May 27, 2014

New HTTP standard to be released by end of 2014

But experts call for the project to be abandoned.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

An updated version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that would deliver web pages to browsers faster could be delivered by the end of the year.

Mark Nottingham, an expert on HTTP and HTTP APIs, laid out a plan for delivering HTTP 2.0 calling for rapid action to get it ready.

"I think that if we follow the plan, we have every chance of having [a standard] well before the end of the calendar," he said.

"So far, I’ve heard strong preferences across the board for keeping the schedule tight. Every change we make and especially every feature we add has the potential to delay us."

While an upgrade of HTTP, which provides a standard for Web browsers and servers to communicate, could bring a faster web, changing the rules that govern it could prove difficult.

FreeBSD developer Poul-Henning Kamp recently called for the HTTP 2.0 process to be abandoned in favour a newly-defined HTTP 3.0 project.

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He blamed Google’s SPDY, which forms the basis for HTTP 2.0, for the proposals’ supposed shortcomings.

Proper examination of Google’s code has revealed "numerous hard problems that SPDY doesn’t even get close to solving," he said.

Greg Wilkins, a software developer for business software maker Italio, added: "I do not see a draft that is anywhere near to being ready for LC (last call). At the very least in the WG there currently exists a level confusion on fundamental matters that should not result from a clear specification."


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