Did you know that there’s a huge change happening in the way browsers communicate with web servers? And that change is gonna make the web go faster than ever?
Google is behind this sea-change, which they originally called SPDY (pronounced “speedy”). Well, now SPDY is about to become the new HTTP/2 standard. By the end of the year, Google will remove support for SPDY in favor of HTTP/2 and that will begin the wholesale move to a faster Internet.
If you’ve ever browsed a Google site (!) with a recent release of Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, you might have wondered just how Google delivers such amazing performance. Google Apps just burst onto the screen and searches are darn near instant. You might have assumed (correctly) that Google has thrown hardware and bandwidth at you. But they’ve done much more — in SPDY they’ve “fixed” a basic Internet protocol to bring it into the 21st century.
SPDY (or HTTP/2) changes the way browsers and web servers communicate. Basically, it allows for all kinds of concurrent streams (frames) of data to flow in both directions. HTTP/1.1 (from the late 90s) is a simple, one-at-a-time send/receive protocol.
Another advantage of SPDY is that it requires TLS. So, in the future (or right now as you are reading this page), the web will be both more secure and faster.
Being an inveterate heat-seeker, I just had to have SPDY for Thinking aloud running now, even though it’s not officially part of the Apache 2.4 web server I am running. And, having just converted this blog to 100% TLS, I was halfway there. A few Google searches lead to this clear guide on how to compile SPDY for Apache on Ubuntu, and voila, this blog is now screamingly fast.
Enjoy. I sure do.