Principal Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Corporation
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
HTTP, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is one of the most important protocols for the Internet, and we’re pleased to report progress on the next generation HTTP/2.0 as we recently returned from our interim HTTPbis Working Group meeting in Tokyo (HTTPbis is the HTTP Working Group in the Internet Engineering Task Force).
Our industry standards community reached preliminary agreements on the next steps for the first in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 that will improve the performance for how every application and service on the Web communicates today.
Progress on Negotiation and Flow Control
In our previous post – Sharing proposals for negotiation and flow control for HTTP/2.0 at IETF 85 – we shared our positions on Negotiation and Flow Control and outlined future plans to make progress in these areas.
After final review at the interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, we’re pleased to announce that HTTP 2.0 Negotiation that Microsoft co-authored with Exceliance and Orange and HTTP 2.0 Principles for Flow Control that Microsoft co-authored with Ericsson and Google were incorporated into the latest HTTP/2 base draft.
Implementation Draft Specification
The most important outcome of the interim meeting in Tokyo was the recommendation to create a HTTP/2.0 “Implementation Draft Specification” based on the set of features that have achieved rough consensus in the HTTPBIS working group at this time. There was strong agreement among the attendees with this direction and commitment to implementing this draft specification when available.
The implementation draft is targeted for March with another HTTP/2.0 interim meeting proposed between June-September where interoperability testing can occur.
The proposed feature list includes significant changes to:
- Header Compression
- Flow Control
- Server Push
The intent is to converge on the details using the IETF HTTPBIS mailing list and then implement and validate the subsequent implementation draft. And then repeat the process based on our experience and new understanding – as Mark Nottingham (IETF HTTPBIS chair) has clarified:
Note that we are NOT yet firmly choosing any particular path; rather, we’re working on proposals in code as well as text, based upon discussion to date. As such, we’re likely to have several such implementation drafts that progressively refine the approach we’re taking. I.e., we don’t have to agree that the above is what we want HTTP/2.0 to look like — only that it’s interesting to make these changes now, so that we can test them.
We are pleased with the direction of the HTTPBIS working group and are looking forward to interoperability testing with our HTML5 Labs HTTP/2.0 prototype.
Based on the action items from the interim meeting in Tokyo, there is already active discussion on the IETF HTTPBIS mailing list as more detailed proposals are prepared and shared with the working group. We encourage the community to openly and actively contribute to the mailing list and strongly consider prototyping the implementation draft when available.
We are looking forward to further discussions at the IETF 86 HTTPBIS meeting on March 15 in Orlando where we continue our goal to help ensure, along with our IETF colleagues, that HTTP/ 2.0 meets the needs of the broader Internet community.
Gabriel Montenegro and Brian Raymor