Google promises SPDY web

November 13, 2009 // 2:03 p.m.

Tags: #chrome #chromium #google #google-open-source #google-spdy #http #https #open-source #spdy #speedy #tcp

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.

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