Thanks to the advanced technological solutions provided by Cloudflare, Pangoly is now available to serve requests even with the latest HTTP protocol implementation: HTTP/3, already known as HTTP-over-QUIC.

What is HTTP

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the protocol on which the World Wide Web is based. Developed by Tim Berners-Lee and his team between 1989-1991, HTTP has seen many changes, retaining most of the simplicity and further shaping its flexibility. HTTP has evolved from an initial file exchange protocol in a semi-trusted lab environment to the modern Internet maze, bringing images, high-resolution video and 3D.

HTTP/2: a performance-oriented protocol

Over the years, Web pages have become much more complex, even becoming applications in their own right. The amount of visual aids displayed, the volume and size of scripts that add interactivity, is also increased: much more data is transmitted over significantly more HTTP requests . HTTP/1.1 connections require requests to be sent in the correct order. Theoretically, different parallel connections could be used (generally between 5 and 8), bringing considerable overload and complexity. For example, HTTP pipelining has emerged as a resource burden in Web development.

In the first half of 2010, Google demonstrated an alternative way of exchanging data between clients and servers, implementing an experimental SPDY protocol . This sparked the interest of developers working on both browsers and servers. By defining an increase in the response speed and solving the problem of duplication of transmitted data, SPDY served as the basis of the HTTP/2 protocol.

The HTTP/2 protocol has several main differences compared to the HTTP/1.1 version:

  •     It is a binary protocol rather than text. It can no longer be read and created manually. Despite this obstacle, it is now possible to implement improved optimization techniques.
  •     It is a multiplexed protocol. Parallel requests can be handled via the same connection, removing the order and blocking the constraints of the HTTP/1.x protocol.
  •     Compress headers. Since these are often similar between a set of requests, this removes the duplication and overhead of the transmitted data.
  •     It allows a server to populate the data in a client cache, in advance of being necessary, through a mechanism called server push.

HTTP/3: the future

HTTP/3 is the new generation of the HTTP protocol family. This version is similar to HTTP/2 in functionality, and is different from its predecessor mainly due to the fact that HTTP/3 will be implemented only through QUIC .

QUIC is a new reliable transport protocol that could be seen as a sort of new generation TCP. QUIC streams share the same QUIC connection, so no additional handshakes and slow starts are needed to create new ones, but QUIC streams are delivered independently so that in most cases the loss of packets that affects a stream does not affect on others. This is possible because the QUIC packets are encapsulated on UDP datagrams .

The goal of the new protocol will be to guarantee a faster, more reliable and safer web experience for all.


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