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Re: Delta Compression and UTF-8 Header Values

From: Zhong Yu <zhong.j.yu@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 16:58:30 -0600
Message-ID: <CACuKZqEhzqY8ksBVSdYPsrVbNNxwg-yWp=JorWANJ0UjqyQ2dw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Cc: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>, "ietf-http-wg@w3.org" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:26 AM, 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.

The problem of Chinese character in URL is %-encoding:


9 bytes for a single Chinese character! where ideally 2 bytes should suffice.

However, this is a URI issue, not an HTTP issue. Is HTTP going to
unilaterally "upgrade" URI format? That is possible, but it seems a
big step, and it'll only decease interop for some coming years.

>From my perspective, URLs are not a priority to optimize; they are
usually not that big; servers can unilaterally use a more efficient
encoding method for special chars. Maybe we should restraint from
trying to change URI syntax.

Zhong Yu

>> 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 22:58:57 UTC

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