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Google promises SPDY web

Google promises SPDY web

The new SPDY protocol from Google is designed to augment HTTP and offers the possibility of vastly reduced load times.

Not content with inventing a new programming language, Google is working on a new technology which it believes holds the promise of web sites that load in half the time.

The new system, dubbed SPDY and predictably pronounced SPeeDY, is described in a whitepaper over on the Chromium Developer Blog - via Slashdot - as "an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web, designed specifically for minimal latency."

Designed to complement the HyperText Transfer Protocol rather than replace it, SPDY uses a combination of header compression, multiplexed streams, and traffic prioritisation to speed up the loading of a webpage - and in tests using the Chrome browser as a base, Google claims that SPDY has reduced page load times by up to a not-unimpressive 64 percent.

In order to further test the SPDY technology Google has developed a compatible in-memory web server which it plans to release under an open-source licence in the near future, along with a modified Chrome client which supports both plain HTTP and the new SPDY requests over both unencrypted and SSL connections. While the source for the SPDY-compatible Chrome client is available now, users won't see any speed benefits until servers start to support the protocol.

Does this sound like the sort of technology the web needs, or is it likely to be of more benefit to lossy and bandwidth-starved mobile clients than your average broadband-connected desktop? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

19 Comments

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B3CK 13th November 2009, 15:09 Quote
Forget about loading web pages quicker, if this is enabled and supported on game servers it should effect better pings to game servers as well right?
AshT 13th November 2009, 15:28 Quote
I could be wrong but I think gaming data should be pretty optimised already. HTTP on the other hand is covered in cobwebs.
TWeaK 13th November 2009, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B3CK
Forget about loading web pages quicker, if this is enabled and supported on game servers it should effect better pings to game servers as well right?

Like AshT said, gaming data is pretty well optimised, at least for modern games. As the article states, SPDY is more about compressing and prioritising to speed up the transfer of the HTTP code. Not sure how well prioritising will work, at the end of the day data can only be prioritised against other data, and I'm happy having gaming and VOIP as my highest. A few milliseconds in a webpage doesn't really bother me. If they can get speed increases without incurring performance loss over other data, then I'll happily take it but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it.
licenced 13th November 2009, 16:19 Quote
This is Google right? They're not looking to make web pages load faster, they're looking at ways to serve us twice the number of ads, but without making us wait longer for them.
ParaHelix.org 13th November 2009, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by licenced
This is Google right? They're not looking to make web pages load faster, they're looking at ways to serve us twice the number of ads, but without making us wait longer for them.

Well done, you just managed to turn a great thing in to s**te. By all means, don't use it if you want slower loading times. I am impressed with Google as a whole for all the things that they are doing, and wow, you figured out that Google make money from ads, my god, a company that wants to make a profit to fund all of these projects. Just die, please.
SteveU 13th November 2009, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org
Just die, please.

Woah, go easy now!
Redbeaver 13th November 2009, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by licenced
This is Google right? They're not looking to make web pages load faster, they're looking at ways to serve us twice the number of ads, but without making us wait longer for them.

lol nice one. tho i do respect Google as a company as a whole and the tech they brought to the web, this statement is contains quite the irony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org

Well done, you just managed to turn a great thing in to s**te. By all means, don't use it if you want slower loading times. I am impressed with Google as a whole for all the things that they are doing, and wow, you figured out that Google make money from ads, my god, a company that wants to make a profit to fund all of these projects. Just die, please.

ooookay....... have u had ur coffee this morning yet?
[USRF]Obiwan 13th November 2009, 17:37 Quote
Hmmmz Today most of the Internet users got > 512mbit connections. Page loads in a blink of a eye. I have a 25mbit connection and I do not have to wait for pages to load. They are just there. If they role it out globally then I would suspect a speed bump in Internet traffic. I see more in finding something useful against the gazillion mail spam that is going around the globe cluttering all the lines.
AshT 13th November 2009, 17:45 Quote
I can appreciate what Google is bringing to IT/tech and its other interests but ... I do kinda wonder if at some point the bubble will burst and they won't be as squeaky clean/nice as everyone thinks ... obviously I hope they remain challenging and pioneering. But who knows.
l3v1ck 13th November 2009, 21:09 Quote
What about in FF, IE and Opera?
confusis 13th November 2009, 23:47 Quote
i cant believe nobody said this...

'My SPDY sense is tingling'
Jenny_Y8S 14th November 2009, 00:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B3CK
Forget about loading web pages quicker, if this is enabled and supported on game servers it should effect better pings to game servers as well right?

No, game traffic travels over TCP (as does HTTP), they are not re-writing the underlying architecture of the internet just the protocol most commonly used for sending web content.

So any other internet traffic (ftp, torrents etc) remain as is.
dyzophoria 14th November 2009, 03:47 Quote
Quote:
Chrome browser as a base, Google claims that SPDY has reduced page load times by up to a not-unimpressive 64 percent.

what about on other browsers?
eek 14th November 2009, 09:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
Quote:
Chrome browser as a base, Google claims that SPDY has reduced page load times by up to a not-unimpressive 64 percent.

what about on other browsers?
I guess it;s down to them to include support. I can see FF including it eventually, IE on the other hand could take some time, if ever - release cycle is longer and MS like to do their own thing.
Cthippo 15th November 2009, 09:56 Quote
They did say it would be an open source add-on, so there is no reason the other browser makers couldn't include it on their products.
BLC 15th November 2009, 12:30 Quote
For most home connections, I can't really see this making a difference. As someone has already said, most home users can already get a massively fast speed (I'm talking overall figures here; I'm well aware that there are many parts of the world, and indeed Britain, who would struggle to even get dialup speeds).

IMO this would mostly benefit mobile or cellular connections. Most network operators have already expressed concerns that their architecture isn't scalable - both technologically and financially; we all want faster mobile data speeds, but nobody wants to pay more than the other guy on a different network, right? If this technology can be employed in the mobile arena, which Google is well positioned to do, it could be of massive benefit. I'm not sure what protocols are used by services like the Apple App store or even the Android marketplace, but I would imagine that HTTP traffic still represents a large share of the cellular data traffic flying over our heads. If network operators can squeeze more speed out of existing technology, it's going to give them an advantage in the market. Google already have their own OS out on mobile handsets and they are now developing an OS targeted at the netbook market - they've already stated that cloud-based applications will be a major part of Chrome OS.

It's not hard to see where Google thinks the smart money should go.

And, you can say what you like about Google hoarding your sensitive data and browsing habits, or serving up endless ads, but frankly I don't really care. Targeted advertising has been a goal for many an advertising executive for years, and Google seem to be doing pretty well at it. To say nothing of their operating systems or products, simply the fact that "google" is now recognised as a verb surely means that they must be doing something right - after all, how many people have "Bing'ed" or "Yahoo'ed" something.
ch424 15th November 2009, 14:05 Quote
Well, this obviously makes sense. The HTTP spec says you're only allowed to have two concurrent connections to one server. So, for example, if a page has: the HTML itself, a CSS file, three images and a Javascript file, your browser isn't allowed to ask for them all at once. It has to ask for two (eg, the HTML page and the CSS), then when one thing is done, ask for another. If SPDY changes this spec to allow tens of concurrent downloads, things will be much faster.

Google have known this for ages. If you look at the source code for a google results page, almost all of the CSS/javascript is built into the page, rather than being referenced as external files. On top of that, they lump all the images into one, to reduce the number of image accesses:
http://www.google.com/images/nav_logo7.png

Using SPDY to combat high latency is certainly an excellent idea - for example on mobile broadband, you may get 2Mbit of throughput, but with a latency of 600ms per page item, so a 1kB PNG file effectively takes 600ms to load, and so does a 5kB CSS file; the 4kB of extra data is irrelevant when the latency is so large. If you could download them all at once, it'd make things much nippier.
Saivert 17th November 2009, 23:32 Quote
SPDY sure is nice, and I guess HTTP could need some optimization but I would rather see Google push a replacement for the outdated publishing method of the web now. HTTP and HTML as been augmented with more technology over the time and neglecting their inherent weaknesses as dated protocols. We need something brand new now really.
Why do you think technologies like Flash, Silverlight and Java were invented in the first place? Because HTTP + HTML doesn't give us the interactivity and multimedia that we want.
A new application protocol would be nice which would put everything we now take for granted center stage instead of mere addons to an old technology.
mrplow 17th November 2009, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
i cant believe nobody said this...

'My SPDY sense is tingling'

wahey!
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