Re: Fragmentation for headers: why jumbo != continuation.

On 11 July 2014 10:41, Roberto Peon <> wrote:
> I like some of the parts of what you proposed there, and don't like other
> parts. I'd prefer discussing that in a separate thread, though so we don't
> dilute this conversation too much.
> -=R



I'm curious as to what parts of this thought bubble you like and what bits
you don't?

I think the current inability to reach consensus is due to some earlier
poor design decisions that forced the WG down a path that nobody is really
happy with and I fear that the current disputes are really just fighting
over where to put the deck chairs on the titanic.

I basically agree with you that headers should be fragmentable and
interleavable( I also think they should be flow controllable ), however
that requires changes to HPACK, which I did not think the WG was willing to
make, hence my proposal for a single frame header (the better of two evils
with regards to continuations).

However, if the current stalemate and additional concerns you have raised
do inspire a new interest in revisiting HPACK, then perhaps there might
come an opportunity for something a bit more radical and  I might consider
putting some effort into preparing a real proposal along the lines of this
thought bubble.

Hence I'm interested in what you did/didn't like about the idea of mapping
HTTP semantics onto data frames?

Fundamentally I would like the code that has to deal with all the framing
concerns: buffering, fragmentation, interleaving, priority, aggregation,
flow control, etc.   to be application protocol neutral.    It should not
know or care if it is transporting headers or data or websockets etc.
All it need to do is give enough indication of where the semantics are so
that actors that do need to know some more semantics (eg proxy routing
algorithm) know where in the stream to look to apply higher level
decoding.  I think stream segments are sufficient for that.

Anyway,  if you have any additional personal bandwidth,  I'd be interested
in your thoughts.

I don't think the WG is actually ready/interested in such a proposal at the
moment (hence offlist), but who knows what the future may hold.


> On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Greg Wilkins <> wrote:
>> Roberto,
>> I agree that this is a concern, even if large headers are only 0.01% (or
>> whatever it is ) of the traffic.
>> But I don't think fragmentation on it's own is sufficient. You need
>> fragmentation and flow control.       To achieve this we need to stop
>> treating headers as a special case and forget about any deadlines by the
>> end of the year. I would propose that:
>>    - We remove HEADERS, CONTINUATION and PUSH_PROMISE from the
>>    specification
>>    - We retain END_SEGMENT in DATA frames
>>    - Streams are created by sending a stream SETTINGs frame with a
>>    PROTOCOL parameter!
>> We now have a multiplexed framing layer that is totally devoid of any
>> knowledge of HTTP!   The framing supports segmented data streams that are
>> flow controlled and of unlimited size.    We then come up with an mapping
>> of HTTP semantics to this framing layer:
>>    - HTTP streams start with a SETTINGS frame that has PROTOCOL=h2
>>    - Odd data segments on the stream carry header/trailers.  So a Stream
>>    with  1 segment is just headers. A stream with 3 segments is headers, data,
>>    trailers etc.
>> Now we have to work out how to encode the headers into those data
>> frames.  The stateless parts of HPACK are a pretty reasonable start, using
>> Static-H gives a 0.66 compression factor.  However, I think there are
>> probably other alternatives that are less order dependent - eg sending the
>> header set mutations only on stream 0 and normal decoding does not mutate
>> the table. If we wanted to make HTTP a bit of a special case, we could go
>> to Linear-H, with 0.31 compression factor, but then decoding of the headers
>> must be done in the order they are sent - making header compression part of
>> the framing layer.... but I could live with a little bit of conflation for
>> efficiency purposes:)
>> With this scheme, we could even support lazy proxies that would send
>> HTTP/1.1 by having PROTOCOL=h1 on a stream and just sending the http/1
>> bytes unaltered.   Websocket could be supported the same way or it too
>> could have it's own segmented data mapping.
>> Even if we go for a less drastic way to do fragmentation of headers, I
>> think the process has to be the same - start with data frame semantics and
>> work out how to transport compressed headers.  Don't come up with a
>> different fragmentation/flowcontrol regime based on the content of the
>> frame.
>> cheers
>> On 11 July 2014 06:27, Roberto Peon <> wrote:
>>> There are two separate reasons to fragment headers
>>> 1) Dealing with headers of size > X when the max frame-size is <= X.
>>> 2) Reducing buffer consumption and latency.
>>> Most of the discussion thus far has focused on #1.
>>> I'm going to ignore it, as those discussions are occurring elsewhere,
>>> and in quite some depth :)
>>> I wanted to be sure we were also thinking about #2.
>>> Without the ability to fragment headers on the wire, one must know the
>>> size of the entire set of headers before any of it may be transmitted.
>>> This implies that one must encode the entire set of headers before
>>> sending if one will ever do transformation of the headers. Encoding the
>>> headers in a different HPACK context would count as a transformation, even
>>> if none of the headers were modified.
>>> This means that the protocol, if it did not have the ability to
>>> fragment, would require increased buffering and increased latency for any
>>> proxy by design.
>>> This is not currently true for HTTP/1-- the headers can be sent/received
>>> in a streaming fashion, and implementations may, at their option, choose to
>>> buffer in order to simplify code.
>>> -=R
>> --
>> Greg Wilkins <>
>> HTTP, SPDY, Websocket server and client that
>> scales
>>  advice and support for jetty and cometd.

Greg Wilkins <> HTTP, SPDY, Websocket server and client that scales  advice and support for jetty and cometd.

Received on Saturday, 12 July 2014 01:44:15 UTC