Can Google make the Web SPDYer? Maybe, with your help

Can Google make the Web SPDYer? Maybe, with your help

Summary: Google has been working on a project called SPDY, deigned to make the Web faster but it's reached a point where it could use some feedback from the Web community.

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TOPICS: Browser, CXO, Google
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A team of software engineers at Google who are working on a project known as SPDY - and pronounced Speedy - are reaching out for some input from engineering types. The early-stage research project, which has only been tested in labs so far, is working to speed up the Web.

This project is way deeper into the weeds of technology than I am, so I leave it to the engineering types to explain it. From the blog post:

SPDY is at its core an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web. It is designed specifically for minimizing latency through features such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression. We started working on SPDY while exploring ways to optimize the way browsers and servers communicate. Today, web clients and servers speak HTTP. HTTP is an elegantly simple protocol that emerged as a web standard in 1996 after a series of experiments. HTTP has served the web incredibly well. We want to continue building on the web's tradition of experimentation and optimization, to further support the evolution of websites and browsers.

The team says the initial results are encouraging as they've seen a "significant improvement in performance," with web pages loading 55 percent faster over a simulated home network connection. Still, the team acknowledges that it still has a lot of work to do to evaluate SPDY in real-world conditions.

The company says it's at a point where it can benefit from feedback and assistance from the Web community. Those interested are encouraged to review the early stage documentation, look at the current code and offer your two cents through the Chromium Google Group.

Topics: Browser, CXO, Google

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4 comments
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  • Interesting, Just drop the "D"... (nt)

    ;)
    GuidingLight
    • Why not drop all the letters and replace with...

      AT&T. No one cares about that I guess.
      storm14k
    • Grow up

      Seriously
      SpiritusInMachina
  • good evolutionary improvements over HTTP

    I've gone to the SPDY web site to
    look over what Google is trying
    to do here. I very much like
    their intentions for
    improvements.

    The core idea they have is to
    move to where a web client
    establishes a single persistent
    connection with a web server and
    then multiplexes (their somewhat
    modified, but more efficient)
    various HTTP request over
    that one session. By being
    persistent, the server can
    "push" information back to the
    client without the client having
    to explicitly request it. This is
    great for doing notification type
    stuff and is really needed
    to help bring general web apps
    into being as capable as
    traditional desktop networking
    software.

    Essentially, what I've been doing
    for years and years for
    enterprise software, using
    solutions like Tibco EMS (an
    implementation of JMS messaging),
    would become de jure for typical
    web app programming - messaging
    based.

    That's the big piece -
    centralizing all HTTP
    communication over a single
    persistent connection to a given
    web site domain.

    There's other things, too, of
    course. Like making HTTP header
    conventions more efficient and
    always using compression on HTTP
    content. Another is standardizing
    on top of SSL so that web
    communications are always
    conducted over a secure channel.
    No more traffic that can be
    casually sniffed.

    Somebody could build a web proxy
    that implements SPDY conventions
    and that gets installed on a
    client computer. Then the user's
    browser would be configured
    to use that local web proxy. When
    talking to SPDY compliant web
    sites, the user would start
    reaping the benefits of SPDY
    while being able to use their
    existing favorite browser that
    they have right now.

    Google should urge Mozilla
    Firefox, Apple Safari (and
    webkit), Adobe Flash-player/AIR,
    Apache httpd, Apache Tomcat,
    Jetty, Google App Server (no
    brainer), etc., all to adopt SPDY
    conventions - while sending a
    polite invite to Microsoft to do
    the same.

    SPDY would give a significant
    competitive advantage to all
    these folks so in the end,
    Microsoft would get dragged into
    adoption or risk being left
    literally eating bit dust as the
    rest of the web universe speeds
    on past them.

    The nice thing is that web
    browsers and web servers can
    support SPDY while at same time
    keeping backward support for HTTP
    as it exist today. So the web can
    easily evolve into SPDY
    compliance.
    rogerv