Re: p1-message-07 S 7.1.4

In defence of the current text, it's hardly a philosophical  
requirement; because of the way that TCP works and the way that the  
Internet was deployed circa 1996, this was a very real and serious  

I think that the limit needs to be raised at the least, and perhaps  
softened in other ways, because:
   - it assumes that pipelining is usable over the open Internet, when  
often it is not
   - congestion on Internet backbones isn't *as much* of an issue as  
it was then (AFAIK; I'll defer to others here)
   - Web pages are significantly more complex (i.e., more resources)

This last point is particularly important; in some instances you can  
see a "waterfall" of requests, two at a time, in pathological  
circumstances (e.g., accessing a Web page that references 50 images,  
all on the same host, across an ocean).

The result is that it's now common practice to deploy assets on  
multiple hosts just to avoid this limitation, and JavaScript library  
developers are starting to look at ways of bundling multiple responses  
into one, thereby tunnelling through HTTP and making the messages  
opaque. I'd say both are signs that there needs to be a change.

OTOH, I also think completely removing limitations isn't good practice  
either, because there are still networks out there where congestion is  
a problem, and having an app open multiple TCP connections (as many  
"download accelerators" do) to hog resources isn't good for the long- 
term health of the Internet either.

My personal preference would be to:
   - raise the recommended limit to something like 6 or 8 simultaneous  
connections (I believe there's been some research referenced  
previously that shows these numbers to be reasonable), and
   - explain a bit more of the motivation/tradeoffs in the text, and
   - allow servers to explicitly relax this requirement to clients for  
particular uses (perhaps in an extension; this has been discussed a  
bit on the hybi list and elsewhere), and
   - long-term, look at ways to work around this problem in a better  
way (e.g., the effort to run HTTP over SCTP).


On 20/07/2009, at 7:35 AM, Adrien de Croy wrote:

> Henrik Nordstrom wrote:
>> lör 2009-07-18 klockan 15:46 +1200 skrev Adrien de Croy:
>>> But any client that only made 2 connections to a proxy would be  
>>> quickly
>>> dumped by users as basically unusable.  I think this para should  
>>> be taken out.
>> The user-agent limit is per accessed server (host component). There  
>> is
>> no specified limit client->proxy when the client accesses multiple  
>> sites
> maybe need clarification then in 7.1.4, since it currently reads:
> "A single-user client SHOULD NOT maintain more than 2 connections  
> with any server or proxy."
>> The limits are there to prevent unintentionall congestion and
>> unfairness. Both of the server resources and network.
> It doesn't make any sense to me to try and address that issue in the  
> protocol.
> It's like we're defining a recipe for bread, and in the recipe we  
> state nobody should own more than 2 loaves.
> That is based on a whole series of assumptions about availability  
> and capacity of resource, which even if they were valid now, will  
> not be valid for all time.  Let alone the philisophical problems  
> about whether HTTP should be trying to control that anyway.
> Surely its up to a site to cater for the demand it gets.  Whether  
> that's 1 million clients each making 2 connections, or 100000  
> clients each making 20 connections.
> It's up to ISPs to cater for demand they get.
> Putting that should level requirement in the protocol has achieved  
> only one thing:  problems for site designers coping with UAs that  
> take it to heart.
> Thankfully most UAs now ignore it.  The more UAs that ignore it, the  
> fewer hoops site owners and authors will have to jump through to get  
> around it.
>> But yes, it's frequently a problem for certain types of sites, and  
>> the
>> workaround of using multiple sitenames isn't exactly clean.
>> I would propose adding a way where the HTTP server can grant it's
>> clients to use more than 2 connections.
> Servers already send back an error page when they are overloaded.
> Servers are free to limit connections in any way they wish.
> Putting an arbitrary limit into the client can only do one thing -  
> reduce user experience, something most site owners would rather not,  
> which is why they set up so many different site names to get around  
> the problem.
> It also forces people to host on faster connections, because  
> otherwise their lightly loaded site seems slow.
>>> Furthermore the requirements that the second part places on a proxy
>>> would greatly increase the complexity of the proxy, since it would  
>>> then have to
>>> start multiplexing requests from different client connections over  
>>> the same server
>>> connections.
>> Why? The proxy is allowed to open two times the amount of client
>> connections it sees with requests for the site.
> that's not how I read the following:
> "A proxy SHOULD use up to 2*N connections to another server or  
> proxy, where N is the number of simultaneously active users."
> I read that as 2 connections per connected client.  Since the client  
> can have 2 connections each, that's only 1 connection per client  
> connection.  That wouldn't require multiplexing, but is a proxy  
> deemed to be a client in this case?  In which case it can only have  
> 2 connections to any 1 server regardless of the number of connected  
> clients.
>> In reality this means
>> that the proxy do not need to bother much about the limit unless it's
>> proactively opening connections to a server or not pooling idle
>> proxy<->nexthop persistent connections for reuse but randomly
>> distributes client requests on many workers each with their own set  
>> of
>> next-hop connections...
> some architectures don't lend themselves to that, esp those with  
> filtering interfaces, where a filter may block execution for an  
> indeterminate period.
> Regards
> Adrien
>> Regards
>> Henrik
> -- 
> Adrien de Croy - WinGate Proxy Server -

Mark Nottingham

Received on Monday, 20 July 2009 03:02:55 UTC