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Re: HTTP Working Group 'issues' list

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 96 17:44:23 EST
Message-Id: <9602142244.AA18440@aleatory.tempo.att.com>
To: frystyk@w3.org
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@w3.org> wrote:
  > Ted Hardie writes:
  > 
  > > I have already seen complaints about Netscape's current behavior on
  > > several lists, including statements which implied webmasters might
  > > turn off persistent connections in the face of what they saw as
  > > "piggish" behavior.  If there is a valid reason for holding open the
  > > multiple connections, we should probably make it public as soon as
  > > practicable, or we may find that false beliefs about its interaction
  > > with multiple connections will slow the spread of persistent connections.
  > 
  > As it stands now the perceived time to render will in many cases go up if 
  > using a single persistent connection as it takes longer before the required 
  > metainformation for laying out the page has been transferred. By opening many 
  > connections you will in most cases get the needed metainformation in the very 
  > first packets of each connection and to the user this looks like that this 
  > transfer "mode" is more efficient.
  > [...]

IMO, the offensive behavior isn't that multiple connections are opened, but
that they all send Connection: keepalive, and the client never closes them.
So eventually the server has to time them out and close them.  Netscape's
browser could mitigate the damage by either
	- not sending Connection: keepalive if it knows there are no
		follow-up requests coming, or
	- closing any open connections when it knows it's done

I understand with Henryk's remarks about perceived performance, but IMO my
suggestions wouldn't alter that.

Dave Kristol
Received on Wednesday, 14 February 1996 14:51:41 EST

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