Facebook Puts Its Might Behind Google's SPDY as HTTP 2.0 Candidate

It found the other two candidates lacking in certain aspects

By on July 16th, 2012 11:11 GMT

SPDY continues to pick up steam. The revised HTTP protocol initially created by Google is already in use, by Google but also others, and is already supported in Chrome and Firefox. Opera is working on it as well.

It has also been put forward as the basis for the upcoming HTTP 2.0, even as its development continues.

But there are other contenders for HTTP 2.0, albeit one, the Microsoft proposal, being based on SPDY as well. Facebook has now weighed in and has put its support behind the pure SPDY in the race to become HTTP 2.0.

In an "Expression of Interest" response, Facebook engineer Doug Beaver explains why Facebook is sticking to SPDY and also reveals that Facebook is ready to roll out support for the protocol, i.e. implement it in its infrastructure.

Facebook chose SPDY/2, the second draft spec, for now as it's the most broadly supported. Google servers already run SPDY/3 and both Chrome and Firefox now have support for the latest draft spec, albeit not in the stable versions yet.

"We are implementing SPDY and plan to deploy it widely in two roles: speaking HTTP directly to users, and enabling faster communication between geographically distant web servers on our network," Beaver explained.

"Of the three proposals, we believe it is the best basis for further work due to the variety of client and server implementations, its proven usage at large scale, and its full support for our HTTP 2.0 criteria," he said.

He noted that the other two proposals are appealing because they lack any support, both on the server side and on the client side, i.e. the browsers, but also because they lack features which Facebook deems important or implement features that are not needed or bound to create problems.

"We at Facebook are enthusiastic about the potential for an HTTP/2.0 standard that will deliver enhanced speed and safety for Web users. Of the three proposals, we recommend the use of SPDY as the basis for development of the HTTP/2.0 specification, but feel that the requirement for a secure transport must be added," Beaver concluded.

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