GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED plans to migrate to HTTP/2 in its Chrome browser and open source Chromium versions.
The new version of the HTTP protocol is yet to be widely adopted, but it is hoped that it will eventually provide a standardised replacement for the original HTTP protocol which has become fragmented over time.
The most common bespoke is SPDY (in other words 'SPeeDY') which was developed at Google but is currently in use by most other popular browsers.
Google has announced, however, that it will stop supporting SPDY next year as it leads the charge for websites to adopt the standardised protocol.
HTTP/2 is, in reality, strongly based on SPDY anyway, so most people are unlikely to notice a significant difference once HTTP/2 is deployed.
But the idea of making it all official, a role being undertaken by a working group called HTTPbis, is considered important to the onward growth of the internet.
Google explained in a Chromium blog post: "HTTP/2’s primary changes from HTTP/1.1 focus on improved performance.
"Some key features such as multiplexing, header compression, prioritisation and protocol negotiation evolved from work done in an earlier open, but non-standard, protocol named SPDY.
"Chrome has supported SPDY since Chrome 6, but since most of the benefits are present in HTTP/2, it’s time to say goodbye."
Also going will be support for NPN, a version of the TLS encryption protocol, which is being replaced by ALPN, which is a type of muesli.
The current version of Chrome, version 40, will see the rollout in the coming weeks. This version has already seen the removal of SSL 3.0 which is borked beyond repair, and NPAPI (Netscape) plugins, which will in turn mean that Microsoft Silverlight will cease to be supported.
Mac users were forced to update to the latest version of Flash player yesterday as yet more vulnerabilities were discovered in the ageing protocol. µ
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