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Re: The HTTP vs SPDY debate

From: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 09:07:57 +0200
To: Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com>
Cc: ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <20120330070757.GD8991@1wt.eu>
Hi Mike,

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 03:26:44PM +0200, Mike Belshe wrote:
> I thought the goal was to figure out HTTP/2.0; I hope that the goals of
> SPDY are in-line with the goals of HTTP/2.0, and that ultimately SPDY just
> goes away.

Of course, but since there are obviously controversial points which some
absolutely want and others really don't want, I think that having SPDY be
the bleeding edge "next" HTTP version on which research is performed etc
and having the "stable" HTTP version makes a lot of sense. After all,
this is more or less what is happening today : you present some results
with running code and deployments, you're still open to make some changes,
and both you and Roberto also told me you have a fair number of exciting
new features in mind for the future. So why not consider keeping HTTP and
SPDY work side by side with HTTP getting backports from SPDY every few
years ? Even if SPDY became HTTP2 tomorrow, at the end of the year you
would not be satisfied because you'd have many new features that you would
like to have again and you'd reopen the SPDY project !

There will always be users and websites who like to live on the bleeding
edge and running your latest spec because they benefit from it. Standards
benefit from experimental results and must not frequently change. Having
both live together would make each one benefit from the other. I think
you will agree with me that in the future, changes to the standard will
become more and more frequent in order to better address end users needs,
and at the same time we need to maintain some stability for the server
side, with a compatibility layer between the two. There's probably an
emerging market for latest-spdy-to-stable-http gateways to allow people
to live on the bleeding edge.

Last point is that by making such a relation something publicly known,
you can more easily make implementers aware of future requirements, and
ask their vendors for compliance with the forthcoming new standard. It's
just like in 1999 we had many vendors writing "Y2K compliant" on anything
ranging from cars to spoons. But at least customers wanted to be sure.

Really I think it makes sense to have stable and bleeding edge.

We can discuss about this today if you like.

Cheers,
Willy
Received on Friday, 30 March 2012 07:08:30 GMT

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