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What Is HTTP/2 and Why Should You Care About It?

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Kaleigh Rogers writes at Motherboard:

Earlier this week, the internet got some good news that has the potential to make the web a whole lot faster.

Mark Nottingham, the chair of the HTTP Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force announced o​n his blog that HTTP/2 has been approved and its specifications will soon be published. It’s exciting news for the team that has been developing the new application protocol for years.

But the average internet user probably has no idea what any of this is all about. I didn’t, really, so I tracked down Nottingham and asked him to help break it down for me so we can all partake in this nerdy internet celebration together.

What follows is a beginner’s guide to what HTTP/2 is, what it will do, and why you should care:

WAIT, WHAT IS HTTP AGAIN?

It stands for hypertext transfer protocol and it’s a way for your browser to communicate with websites. HTTP tells a server to fetch the information needed to show you a page on a site.

There are different protocols for fetching different types of information. For example, you may have used FTP (file transfer protocol) to download files or POP (post office protocol) to send and receive emails.

OKAY, SO WHAT IS HTTP/2?

The transfer protocol we currently encounter most often on the web is HTTP1.1, which came on the scene in 1999. HTTP/2 is the latest upgraded version. It was developed by a collective of programmers from around the world, and is based on a protocol called SPDY, which was created by Google in 2009.

COOL, BUT WHY DO WE NEED IT?

“The way that we use the web has changed a lot over the past two and a half decades. Websites are much more demanding of the network, the protocol, and browsers,” Nottingham told me in an email response. Because of this increased demand, there are some limitations to how well HTTP1.1. communicates information on a website to a browser.

“HTTP/1.1 has served admirably, but people have been starting to hack around the performance limitations it has by changing how their website works. HTTP/2 fixes the underlying problems that drove sites to do that.”

HOW DOES IT FIX THE PROBLEMS OF THE OLD HTTP? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Technology

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.

    Like

    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    20 February 2015 at 10:05 am


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