The History of the URL

The History of the URL is a brilliant compilation of ideas and resources, explaining how we got to the URLs we use and love (or hate) today.  In fact, the article comes in two parts:

  1. Domain, protocol, and port
  2. Path, fragment, query, and auth

Read them in whatever order you prefer. But I guarantee that you’ll have a number of different responses through out, from “Wow! I never knew that” and “I would have never thought of that!” to “No way! I don’t believe it“.

And here is one of the bits that made me smile:

In 1996 Keith Shafer, and several others proposed a solution to the problem of broken URLs. The link to this solution is now broken. Roy Fielding posted an implementation suggestion in July of 1995. The link is now broken. – open protocol for resumable file uploads, in their own words:

People share more and more photos and videos every day. Mobile networks remain fragile however. Platform APIs are a mess and every project builds its own file uploader. There are a thousand one week projects that barely work, when all we need is one real project. One project done right.

We are going to do this right. We aim to solve the problem of unreliable file uploads once and for all. tus is a new open protocol for resumable uploads built on HTTP. It offers simple, cheap and reusable stacks for clients and servers. It supports any language, any platform and any network.

Hello HTTP/2, Goodbye SPDY

Chromium blog reports that by the early next year, Chromium (and Chrome) will phase out the support for SPDY and NPN in favor of HTTP/2 and ALPN.

HTTP is the fundamental networking protocol that powers the web. The majority of sites use version 1.1 of HTTP, which was defined in 1999 with RFC2616. A lot has changed on the web since then, and a new version of the protocol named HTTP/2 is well on the road to standardization. We plan to gradually roll out support for HTTP/2 in Chrome 40 in the upcoming weeks.

HTTP/2’s primary changes from HTTP/1.1 focus on improved performance. Some key features such as multiplexing, header compression, prioritization 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. We plan to remove support for SPDY in early 2016, and to also remove support for the TLS extension named NPN in favor of ALPN in Chrome at the same time. Server developers are strongly encouraged to move to HTTP/2 and ALPN.

http2 explained

http2 explained – This document describes http2 at a technical and protocol level. Background, the protocol, the implementations and the future.

Some highlights:

  • The http2 spec is expected to ship in June 2014 (a month or two away!)
  • http2 is heavily based on Google’s SPDY
  • http2 is binary
  • http2 fixes a lot of issues with HTTP 1.1 (pipelining, head of line blocking, etc)
  • http2 brings new features (server push, block, reset)
  • http2 will keep the URL schemes (http and https)
  • http2 will mostly be implemented for https (via protocol negotiations in TLS)
  • http2 already has a variety of implementations: Firefox and Google Chrome (MSIE coming), cURL, Goolge, Twitter, Facebook.  Apache and Nginx expected.