HTTP is one of the most important protocols of the web, if it is not the most important. This is what allows you to exchange data across the world, and the latest version has arrived: HTTP / 2 was finally completed. The news is even more exciting than the older version, HTTP / 1.1 was officially introduced in 1999.
In version 1.1, HTTP was no longer suited to what has become the web and multiple connections that sites require visitors. Thanks to improvements of HTTP / 2, we should see an acceleration time of loading of websites, and the difference could be very significant for some.
That is a fact. Mark Nottingham, who runs the HTTP Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force, announced on his blog. There are still many steps before the new standard is implemented in your favorite browser. But in terms of its functions, it’s over.
The main improvement of HTTP / 2 is its ability to handle multiple connections at a time. When you request to load a web page, several things are delivered: the page itself, its design, its images, scripts, etc., and that’s about it that was the problem with HTTP / 1.1.
With the old version, different objects were actually delivered one by one. Thus, if an object takes too long to load, it slowed down the loading of the other, making the whole page long to display.
HTTP / 2 can therefore manage demand more objects simultaneously, which means that large objects are delivered together with the little ones, and they are not handicapped by the size of the former.
HTTP / 2 accelerate the display of pages by reducing and optimizing TCP exchanges between the client (browser) and server (Web site). In particular, it can “multiplex” file transfers on a single TCP session and reduce bandwidth consumed by applications using compression.
The other over HTTP / 2, this is the compression of the headers that provide information on the content of the page itself. With HPACK these headers are compressed to transmit faster.
The Legacy of Google
HTTP / 2 doesn’t come out of here now. It is actually based on SPDY, a protocol introduced by Google in 2012, already implemented in Chrome and Firefox, and used by many important sites, such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Google has indicated that the support SPDY would disappear Chrome early 2016 in favor of HTTP / 2 whose support will arrive in the 40 version of the browser.
Regarding Firefox, Mozilla has already said that HTTP / 2 would be managed from the next version that will arrive next week, but this will not be the final version of HTTP / 2. It should be borne in Firefox from version 39 if all goes well.
Finally, Microsoft has also responded to the call with Spartan, which will include support for HTTP / 2. In short, everyone reacts fast enough, and this is very good news.