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Re: IBM patents tunneling HTTP through another protocal

From: Frank de Lange <frank@rintintin.gv-itf.unisource.nl>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 17:49:49 +0200 (MET DST)
To: "McDermott, Sean" <sean.mcdermott@fmr.com>
Cc: "'Telford001@aol.com'" <Telford001@aol.com>, joshco@microsoft.com, HTTP Working Group <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <ML-3.3.897061789.7457.frank@rintintin.gv-itf.unisource.nl>
> 
> > > hmm..
> > >  Wouldnt a prior work be tunneling HTTP through SSL, as
> > >  originated by Netscape ?
> > >  This is how https works...
> > 
> > Protocol tunnels have been used for at least twenty
> > years.  Hard to believe IBM's develop is non-obvious
> > to someone skilled in the art or that it constitutes a
> > new combination of old ideas.
> 
> But the patent seems only to apply to:
> "a method of increasing the performance"
> 
> Protocol tunnels for security/routing reasons wouldn't be
> applicable here.
> 
> I guess tunnelling over SSL doesn't apply since there is
> certainly no performance enhancement.
> 
> To prove a prior work you need to find an example of
> tunnelling over a protocol which dynamically compresses??
> Does AppleTalk compress?
> 
> Obviously there are other ways to increase the performance
> other than compress - to use a different protocol than TCP/IP..
> 
> Anyway, is it true to say, if any performance improvements
> are introduced *into* the HTTP standard, this patent doesn't
> apply?
> 
> - Sean

SSH surely does compress the stream, if you ask it to do so. It is also
possible to use compression with no encryption, which does enhance performance
in some cases (slow lines, fast systems).

I think one of the key issues here is whether there is prior work which
translates HTTP on one end of the stream into something else (thereby removing
the HTTP protocol overhead), and recreates the HTTP request at the other end.
SSH does not touch the protocol, it only transports the data stream (compressed
and/or encrypted).

Cheers//Frank

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Received on Friday, 5 June 1998 08:55:00 EDT

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