HTTP/2 speeds up the web for the first time in 16 years

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HTTP/2 speeds up the web for the first time in 16 years

It's surprising that, even with faster connections and smoother HTML5 coding to reduce load times, the web still feels sluggish. Thankfully, HTTP/2 is on its way to give the web a much needed boost.

According to a blog from the Internet Engineering Task Force HTTP Working Group chair, Mark Nottingham, the new version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is all done and dusted. It's currently being scrutinised on RFC Editor, and will shortly be assigned an RFC number and be published, so that it can become the standard protocol for the web.

The last update to HTTP came 16 years ago in 1999 with HTTP 1.1, since then we've all been using this outdated method of web building and finally it's time to change.

While still retaining the same APIs as HTTP/1, allowing developers to work effortlessly with it, HTTP/2 brings many benefits to the world wide web.

The biggest change for general web users, and for those of you who stress out over web server strain, is how HTTP/2 reduces the cost of page requests. This means faster load times for users, and an end to worrying about pages crashing from too many requests being made all at once.

HTTP/2 should also reduce the strain on servers and networks thanks to a reduced number of connections being made. It also allows for servers to push content to users, allowing them to proactively send things to a user's cache for future use - once again, lowering load times as multiple requests for stylesheets and fetching HTML aren't needed.

Nottingham has a list of the various improvements that HTTP/2 will bring over on his blog.

If you can't wait to delve into the nitty-gritty of HTTP/2, developers can dabble with it already in Firefox and Chrome. For everyone else, however, it shouldn't be too long until it's rolled out as standard soon.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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