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December - 2009 - issue > Tech Tracker

HTTP too old? New Protocol to Make Internet SPeeDY

Eureka Bharali
Monday, November 30, 2009
Eureka Bharali
The times of steam engines have passed and now, to keep up with the fast paced life, we need a Ferrari. In the context of today’s Internet, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the application level protocol, stands for the steam engine. Introduced around two decades back, HTTP fails to keep pace with the heavy interactive Web applications that each website uses, due to the advent of the programming language AJAX. The result is slow page downloads, as it consumes time to transfer the files or applications. Don’t scratch your brains for the solution as the open source community is decoding a new protocol named SPDY, which implies ‘SPeeDY’, to augment the HTTP features. Poised to be a part of every Web revolution, the idea was initialized by the Internet giant Google that opened the source code for the community.

Specifically designed for minimizing the latency of Web pages, the new protocol is tested over an SPDY-enabled Google Chrome browser and open source Web server. The comparative performance study already reveals 64 percent reductions in page load times in SPDY. “We hope to engage the open source community to contribute ideas, feedback, code, and test results to make SPDY the next generation application protocol for a faster Web,” says Google’s Chromium community. The new protocol can compress and handle the individual requests via a connection that’s SSL-encrypted. SSL is the protocol for managing security of a message transmitted over the Internet. This will allow higher priority files to slip through immediately without being backed up behind large files.

However, in the smartphone era, where ‘tinier is better’ has become the new mantra, the SSL powered Internet may become a setback. The mandatory SSL encryption will require more processing power even for small devices. Google is determined to create the solution, and if not they may devise a way for both HTTP and SPDY to co-exist.

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