Update on Standardization of Next Version of HTTP/2.0

Gabriel Montenegro
Principal Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

Andrei Popov
Senior Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

Brian Raymor
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

Rob Trace
Senior Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Corporation

We wanted to give our readers an update on the standardization of the next version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTP/2.0, based on our recent industry standards meeting.

Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., recently attended the Internet Engineering Task Force 86 meetings in Orlando to make progress on the first in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 (see our earlier blog for details).

Much of this HTTPBIS Working Group meeting focused on presentations on header compression, which is one of the big open issues that must be resolved for the first experimental implementation of HTTP/2.0.

Martin Thomson (HTTP/2.0 co-editor) collected and presented a number of pending specification issues for discussion and rough consensus - little things that I would like to change in HTTP/2.0 that I don’t feel I have the authority to change without working group feedback.

Gabriel Montenegro shared a presentation on Known startup state for a simpler and more robust HTTP 2.0 that reduces the complexity of HTTP/2.0 implementations by ensuring that the protocol starts in a known state for both the client and server.

At the Transport Layer Security Working Group (TLS WG) meeting, this group reviewed proposals for application protocol negotiation requested by HTTPBIS for HTTP/2.0 negotiation. Andrei Popov presented the Application Layer Protocol Negotiation Extension (ALPN) – one of the proposals under consideration, co-authored with Stephan Friedl (Cisco). After much discussion and a straw poll, there was rough consensus to adopt ALPN. Eric Rescorla (TLS co-chair) sent a Confirming Consensus for ALPN message to the TLS mailing list to encourage additional discussion from IETF members who had not attended the meeting.

It was exciting to see the progress and tone of the discussions that you can see reflected in the transcriptions below:

Mark Nottingham (HTTPBIS chair) also suggested that HTTPBIS continue meeting on a frequent schedule to make progress on the first HTTP/2.0 experimental implementation with future interim meetings proposed before and after IETF 87 in Berlin:

  • June 12 or 13-14 in San Francisco Bay Area
  • IETF 87, July 28 - August 2 in Berlin
  • Early August in Northern Germany

Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. plan on participating in these meetings and encourage the community to also attend and become more involved in defining the next generation of HTTP at the IETF.

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