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Dictionary Compression for HTTP (at Facebook)

From: Felix Handte <felixh@fb.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2018 10:24:19 +0000
Message-Id: <18eb0343-640c-8b95-1cc2-273bc72ec134@fb.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Jyrki Alakuijala <jyrki@google.com>, Evgenii Kliuchnikov <eustas@google.com>, Vlad Krasnov <vlad@cloudflare.com>, Nick Terrell <terrelln@fb.com>, Yann Collet <cyan@fb.com>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Hello all,

Quick introduction: I'm an engineer on the Data Compression team at Facebook. While we partner with other teams here to apply compression internally at Facebook, we primarily maintain the open source Zstandard[1][2] and LZ4[3] libraries.

We've seen enormous success leveraging dictionary-based compression with Zstd internally, and I'm starting to look at how we can apply the same toolkit/approach to compressing our public web traffic. As we're thinking about how to do this, both as a significant origin of HTTP traffic and as maintainers of open source compression tools, we want very much to pursue a course of action that is constructive for the broader community.

There are, by my count, three competing proposals for how this sort of thing might work (SDCH[4], Compression Dictionaries for HTTP/2[5], and Shared Brotli Dictionaries[6]+[7]). With no public consensus around how to do this well, it's tempting for us to simply build on the tooling we've built internally, and apply it to our traffic between our webservers and our mobile apps (where we control both ends of the connection and can do anything we want). However, it would be pretty tragic for Facebook to gin up its own spec and implementation in this space, roll it out, and end up with something mutually incompatible with anyone else's efforts, further fragmenting the community and driving consensus further off.

So I wanted to first resurface this topic with you all. In short, is there anyone still interested in pursuing a standard covering these topics? If so, I would like to work with you and help build something in this space that can actually see adoption.


[1] https://github.com/facebook/zstd
[2] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-kucherawy-dispatch-zstd-03
[3] https://github.com/lz4/lz4
[4] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-lee-sdch-spec-00
[5] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-vkrasnov-h2-compression-dictionaries-03
[6] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-vandevenne-shared-brotli-format-01
[7] https://github.com/google/brotli/wiki/Fetch-Specification
Received on Friday, 31 August 2018 05:57:47 UTC

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