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expected substantial and measurable improvements in WG charter

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:17:43 +0000
To: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6CBA7355-643D-440A-8084-E33AF1E15109@adobe.com>
The working group seems to have come to the rough consensus that “HTTP/2 is good enough to ship”. And that’s fine.

That’s not the same as consensus as to whether HTTP/2 meets the “It is expected that” list in the charter. In particular, the charter expects HTTP/2 to substantially and measurably improve end-user perceived latency in most cases.  But it seems there mostly agreement (not consensus to the contrary) that to substantially improve end-user perceived latency in “most cases”, you not only need HTTP/2 but also a good deal of mainly undisclosed magic. And that quite a few sites will see worse performance if they merely replace HTTP/1.1 with HTTP/2 (with the necessary shift to TLS).

 Perhaps the tight group developing  HTTP/2 represent interests with knowledge of how to rearrange their servers to actually see substantial and measurable performance improvements, but the means are not clear, and might even be proprietary. It is  a disservice to  ship HTTP/2 without clearly documenting what you have to do to actually get the substantial improvements expected.

Now, you might argue that no work meets all of the expectations placed on it, and perhaps HTTP/2 isn’t quite as good as expected, but that’s how it always works. But the words in the charter need to have some purpose beyond a wish list:   Meet these expectations or explain when and why they cannot be met.

The working group should focus on the task of documenting clearly the deployment steps needed to get the expected benefit. Without doing so, HTTP/2 isn’t complete.

And the working group should do this before taking on other topics proposed in the draft agenda — all of which seem to be out of scope for the current charter.

I see no point in slowing the publication  of HTTP/2 as Proposed Standard, I’m just calling for full disclosure.

Larry
—
http://larry.masinter.net




Received on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 05:18:14 UTC

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