Google Announces SPDY Application-Layer Protocol

    November 12, 2009

Except, perhaps, for multitasking techies and the last few people using dialup connections, load times aren’t a huge deal from a user perspective; the average page appears before most folks think to click on anything else.  Still, Google looks set to make a lot of friends with the introduction of a research project dubbed SPDY ("speedy").

A post on Google’s Research Blog gave a little background by stating, "SPDY is at its core an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web.  It is designed specifically for minimizing latency through features such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression."

As for how that translates into a measurable effect, the post later tied in the "speedy" name and relayed a key point by adding, "[W]hen we download the top 25 websites over simulated home network connections, we see a significant improvement in performance – pages loaded up to 55% faster."

A savings of 55 percent is huge, of course – something that every user would notice.  And site owners might be able to take advantage of the SPDY boost by packing more interesting stuff onto every page.

So, per the SPDY team’s request, look its documentation, inspect its code, and provide feedback if you can.  SPDY’s not ready to make a mainstream debut, but bringing it to that point is almost certainly in everybody’s best interest.

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