Re: Flow control for server push

On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 2:06 AM, Cory Benfield <> wrote:

> This does feel a bit like a problem we can’t do much about.
> A misconfigured server can always provide more work than a client wants to
> deal with. There are lots of non-flow-controlled frames that a
> poorly-written server may emit lots of that will mandatorily consume client
> resources. In fact, for very nearly any of the non-flow-controlled frames
> that exist today it’s pretty easy to conceive of a way to accidentally
> mis-use them (a blizzard of WINDOWUPDATE frames that increment the flow
> control window by one byte each time, for example, or repeatedly emitting
> SETTINGS frames that contain all the settings and gradually shrink the
> HPACK table size by one byte each time).
> I think the point that hasn’t been made clear to me yet is: why is this
> problem more worthy of addressing at the protocol level than any of the
> others? If the client is feeling overwhelmed by the pushes it is free to do
> minimal processing of them (pass the headers through the HPACK decoder and
> maintain the minimal stream state information required to ensure that
> nothing untoward happens, but otherwise ignore them).
> And if a client is really overwhelmed, it can RST the parent stream,
> change the value of SETTINGS_ENABLE_PUSH to 0, and then re-request the
> resource. That then reduces the client to needing to maintain extremely
> minimal state for each pushed stream (pass through the HPACK decoder and
> then RST on any pushed stream).
> More importantly though: if we did enshrine this at a protocol level, what
> would a client do in the case where a server ignores those protocol
> requirements? Is it going to be any different from the above?
> I’m open to seeing an extension to the protocol for this, but it’s hard to
> see what we gain. There’s no protocol level way to avoid the client needing
> to process these frames, at least minimally, because it needs to keep the
> HPACK state in play. All we can do is have a protocol-level way to signal
> to a server “don’t send too many pushes at once”. I suppose that’s useful,
> but it doesn’t seem like we need any more than an extra SETTINGS field and
> a specification for what to do when a server misbehaves. We will then have
> to expect that servers will misbehave, and just like in HTTP/1.1, clients
> will need to decide what they’re doing when they do.

​I completely agree. This doesn't feel like a terribly pressing issue, and
clients already have a mechanism (RST_STREAM) to attenuate the effects.​

Received on Tuesday, 3 May 2016 13:38:57 UTC