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#445: Transfer-codings - Alternate proposal

From: <K.Morgan@iaea.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 15:37:48 +0000
To: <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
CC: <C.Brunhuber@iaea.org>, <fielding@gbiv.com>
Message-ID: <0356EBBE092D394F9291DA01E8D28EC20100F48E03@sem002pd.sg.iaea.org>
Below I've attempted to capture...

- the problems we are trying to solve with transport codings, and

- the issues with transport codings brought up in the threads.

Problems solved with transport codings...

  a) Allows compression of identity range requests [1-4]

  b) De-emphasizes on-the-fly C-E & associated issues [2, 5-6]

  c) Allows extensibility to new/better compression techniques  [7]

  d) Allows compression by intermediaries (e.g. Roy suggests CDNs could be more efficient this way [8]) (e.g. Amos seems to claim this can be a security benefit by doing hop-specific compression [9])

Issues with using transport codings...

  0) Various security issues (e.g. DoS) [10-18].

  1) Compression at a hop without context about the data. [18-22]

  2) Requires a frame format change* [23]

  3) 2-byte tax in every frame* [23]

  4) Results in a low compression factor if done frame-by-frame* [24]

  5) Reintroduces hop-by-hop headers** [9, 25-26]

  6) Poses a problem for adding signed headers in a future rev** [9]

  7) Implementation complexity [15]

  8) Disputed benefit of compression by CDNs [17]

 9) Many seem to simply hate TE/Transfer-Encoding (for whatever reason) [22-23, 27]

*Specific to Matthew's proposal [28]

**Specific to our proposal [29]

Below we suggest two potential solutions to these issues. Other suggested solutions are welcome. (Also, please also let me know if you think I failed to capture any of the issues already brought up.)

A potential Solution

- Issues 2-4 are w.r.t. Matthew's proposal so I'll let him address those concerns.

- We could simply solve issues 0, 1, 5, 6, 8 by adding a special restriction in HTTP/2 on Transfer-Encoding headers disallowing changes at any hop.  Essentially making Transfer-Encoding end-to-end. This is a bit ugly though because it changes semantics and would likely cause confusion. (Matthew also mentioned doing something similar for his proposal, but he didn't get much positive support [30].)

- I have no answer for issue 9.  Haters are gonna hate.

A potentially better Solution

- A variation on the above solution would be to introduce a new end-to-end coding called "Message-Encoding".  The key difference between "Content-Encoding" (C-E) and "Message-Encoding" (M-E) would be that C-E comes before the Range is applied and M-E comes after the Range is applied.

  + M-E would allow seeks (i.e. range requests) on the identity data and allow the partial content to be compressed.

  + The decision to compress is in exactly the same place as the decision for C-E. The server will be able to decide the most suitable technique for a particular situation (i.e. C-E or M-E).

  + M-E would also be the better, more natural, choice for on-the-fly compression because range requests wouldn't require the entire content to be compressed just to serve a portion of it.

  - The only downside is that intermediaries couldn't add compression, but nobody seems to be fighting strongly for that (ourselves included).

Although I know HTTP/2 isn't allowed to change the existing semantics of HTTP, it's not clear if adding HTTP/2 specific semantics is allowed??


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1179.html Keith

[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0075.html Matthew

[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0104.html Matthew

[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1188.html Roland

[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1199.html Roland

[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1214.html Matthew

[7] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0067.html Matthew

[8] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1189.html Roy

[9] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0098.html Amos

[10] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0071.html Martin

[11] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0083.html Martin

[12] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0078.html Michael

[13] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0079.html Michael

[14] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0088.html Michael

[15] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0103.html Roberto

[16] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0105.html Roberto

[17] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1197.html Mark

[18] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0087.html Michael

[19] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0086.html Martin

[20] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1204.html Martin

[21] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0089.html Michael

[22] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1221.html Poul-Henning

[23] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0065.html Mark

[24] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0100.html Roland

[25] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0084.html Martin

[26] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0082.html Martin

[27] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014JanMar/1206.html Patrick

[28] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0059.html Matthew

[29] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0076.html Keith

[30] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2014AprJun/0080.html Matthew

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Received on Tuesday, 8 April 2014 15:38:25 UTC

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