Google shares code to help server software digest HTTP/2

The software, called gRPC, is based on HTTP/2, an updated standard for transmitting Web pages and apps over the Internet

Potentially offering a boost for web server software worldwide, Google has released as open source a framework for HTTP/2, the newly updated standard for transmitting Web pages and Web applications over the Internet.

The software, called gRPC, handles remote procedure calls (RPC) between servers and clients, such as browsers or mobile applications. It is based on HTTP/2, which was ratified as a standard earlier this month by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).

"gRPC is based on many years of experience in building distributed systems," wrote Mugur Marculescu, Google product manager, in a blog post announcing the code.

The gRPC framework powers most of Google's services today, fielding tens of billions of Web calls every second.

In development for a number of years, HTTP/2 could goose Web performance in a variety of ways, such as through header compression and the ability to send multiple requests at once over a single connection.

Based on Google's own Spdy protocol, HTTP/2 could speed web traffic as well as significantly reduce power consumption on battery-reliant mobile devices.

The gRPC platform can be integrated into multiple languages, including C, C++, Java, Go, Node.js, Python, and Ruby. Google is also working on libraries for Objective-C, PHP and C#.

In addition to Google, HTTP/2 also found a home in the latest Firefox browser: Firefox version 36, released earlier this week, also supports the fresh protocol.

Not everyone is on the HTTP/2 bandwagon, however. Poul-Henning Kamp, the developer of the FreeBSD operating system, has said that HTTP/2 is overly complex, provides no additional user privacy checks, and, despite Google's claims otherwise, probably isn't any faster than the original HTTP.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
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