Multiplexing-savvy HTTP 2.0 should arrive in spring 2014

Interoperability testing of the SPDY-derived standard is slotted to begin in early August

HTTP 2.0, the next generation of the principal protocol underlying the World Wide Web, is moving closer to implementation. Interoperability testing is due soon and a completed specification is planned in a year, the editor of the draft specification said.

Version 2.0's new capabilities include multiplexing, said Martin Thomson, a Microsoft employee who is the HTTP 2.0 editor at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). "What HTTP 2.0 does is provide full multiplexing, which can send as many requests as you like at the same time," he said.

Interoperability testing should start in about six weeks, Thomson said, with completion expected in spring 2014. "If it's not done in a year, or at least done to the point where we people can implement it, we've failed."

HTTP 2.0 is promised to make Web pages load faster and improve API functionality, said Google's Roberto Peon, who has worked on SPDY, a predecessor protocol also intended to boost Web speed. SPDY and HTTP 2.0 are now largely the same, and the current version of SPDY is expected to be the last one.

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