HTTP/2 Is Finally Finished!

Faster loading speeds, longer connections, better response times and more are waiting for you with the long-awaited release of HTTP/2.
Goodbye HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1. Hello HTTP/2! The Internet Engineering Task Force’s HTTP Working Group announced that they have finalized their work on Hypertext Transfer Protocol 2. If you are wondering what in the world I’m talking about let me explain.
HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is the basic tool we use for data communication on the World Wide Web. You may have seen this set of letters at the beginning of a domain in your address bar at the top of your browser window. This is not to be confused with HTTPs which indicates the presence of a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate which isused to keep information secure and free from spies. An HTTP is used to retrieve data from servers across the web, so when you click on a link or type in an address into your web browser you use HTTP to access information on the internet.

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For example, when you type in, you are using HTTP to request information from a server. This is known as an HTTP “GET” request. Another example would be to type in a status update to Twitter or Facebook. In this action you are using HTTP to “POST” information to a server. There are other request methods within HTTP including, HEAD, PUT, DELETE, TRACE, CONNECT and a few others.
Tim Berners-Lee and his team are originally credited with the invention of HTTP in their “WorldWideWeb” project in 1989. This initial version would later be turned into HTTP/1.1 in 1995, and was widely used by early 1996. It is safe to say that without HTTP you wouldn’t be reading this post right now and the internet world as we know it would be unable to function.

For a complete timeline of the history of the World Wide Web click here.

While HTTP/1.1 has been great for the last 15 years it is time to move on to something bigger and better. The idea behind HTTP/2 is to simplify how data is passed between server and browser. For example, when you type in there can be up to six trips – called an HTTP session – between your computer and our data center to bring you our website. This means that data is duplicated many times before you are able to view the data. By simplifying the steps of communication will create a much faster connection and result.
The HTTP/2 was created by the IETF’s HTTP Working Group, (IETF stands for Internet Engineering Task Force), which is made up of a bunch of HTTP implementers, users, network operators and experts. This includes individuals from really big projects like Twitter, Microsoft, Firefox and Chrome. According to the HTTP/2 website, there are five major differences between the two versions in that HTTP/2:

  • is binary, instead of textual
  • is fully multiplexed, instead of ordered and blocking
  • can therefore use one connection for parallelism
  • uses header compression to reduce overhead
  • allows servers to “push” responses proactively into client caches

Although those are pretty technical explanations they basically break down into a few features. HTTP/2 will be:

  • less prone to error
  • more compact which means taking up less space within the connection
  • capable of multitasking or many connections at once
  • much faster connection and load time
  • intuitive, will anticipate the users (your) needs

HTTP/2 and HTTP1.1 will (hopefully) merge together, creating a seamless user experience between the two layers. HTTP/2 is available now in Firefox and Chrome for testing as well as test servers from Akamai, Google and Twitter available for deployment and testing.

For a complete list of Implementation Details click here