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Re: Delta Compression and UTF-8 Header Values

From: James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2013 23:37:29 -0800
Message-ID: <CABP7RbfgR4u+n9_K1DqYqf8HUPuXWGLyHOOAPGwWxKs7M_dmKw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Martin Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>, "ietf-http-wg@w3.org" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Keep in mind that allowing headers to potentially contain utf-8 does not
change the definitions of existing headers. Those that are currently
defined with ASCII only values would likely remain ASCII only; we would
need to either update the definitions of those existing headers (breaking
backwards compatibility) or define new utf-8 compatible replacements.

All we need to decide at this point, really, is a) are utf-8 header values
important to us and b) does/will our basic header encoding allow for utf-8
if the answer to (a) is yes.
On Feb 9, 2013 11:26 PM, "Willy Tarreau" <w@1wt.eu> wrote:

> Hello Martin,
>
> On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 02:02:46PM +0900, "Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
> > >The encoding can
> > >become inefficient to transport for other charsets by inflating data by
> up
> > >to 50%
> >
> > Well, that's actually an urban myth. The 50% is for CJK
> > (Chinese/Japanese/Korean).
>
> With the fast development of China, it is perfectly imaginable that
> in 10 years, a significant portion of the web traffic is made with
> Chineese URLs, so we must not ignore that.
>
> > For the languages/scripts of India, South
> > East Asia, and a few more places, it can be 200%. (For texts purely in
> > an alphabet in the Supplemental planes such as Old Italic, Shavian,
> > Osmanya,..., it can be 300%, but I guess we can ignore these.) But these
> > numbers only apply to cases that don't contain any ASCII at all.
>
> I don't see how this is possible since you have 6 bits of data per byte
> plus a few bits on the first byte, and you need 3 bytes to transport 16
> bits, which is 50% for me :-)
>
> > >and may make compression less efficient.
> >
> > That depends very much on the method of compression that's used.
>
> I agree, but adding unused bits or entropy in general will make compression
> algorithms less efficient.
>
> > >I'm not saying I'm totally against UTF-8 in HTTP/2 (eventhough I hate
> using
> > >it), I'm saying that it's not *THE* solution to every problem. It's just
> > >*A*
> > >solution to *A* problem : "how to extend character sets in existing
> > >documents
> > >without having to re-encode them all". I don't think this specific
> problem
> > >is
> > >related to the scope of the HTTP/2 work, so at first glance, I'd say
> that
> > >UTF-8 doesn't seem to solve a known problem here.
> >
> > The fact that I mentioned Websockets may have lead to a
> > misunderstanding. I'm not proposing to use UTF-8 only in bodies, just in
> > headers (I wouldn't object, though). My understanding was that James was
> > talking about headers, and I was doing so, too.
>
> I was talking about header values too. As a developer of intermediaries,
> I'm not interested in the body at all. I'm seeing people do ugly things
> all the time, like regex-matching hosts with ".*\.example\.com" without
> being aware how slow it is to do that on each and every Host header field.
> Typically doing that with an UTF-8 aware library is even slower.
>
> That's why I'm having some concerns.
>
> Ideally, everything we transport should be in its original form. If hosts
> come from DNS, they should appear encoded as they were returned by the DNS
> server (even with the ugly IDN format). If paths are supposed to be UTF-8,
> let them be sent in their raw original UTF-8 form without changing the
> format. But then we don't want to mix Host and path, and we want to put as
> a first rule that only the shortest forms are allowed. If most header
> fields
> are pure ASCII (eg: encodings), declare them as such. If some header fields
> are enums, use enums and not text. Etc...
>
> Regards,
> Willy
>
>
Received on Sunday, 10 February 2013 07:37:57 GMT

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