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HTTP/3?

Added by da about 1 year ago

Not to devalue the work on HTTP/2 (#2813), but is HTTP/3 anywhere on the radar/roadmap for Lighttpd? The underlying QUIC protocol was just finalized (RFC 9000). Google and Fastly have both said to expect the final RFC for HTTP/3 “soon” now that QUIC is done. OpenLightSpeed and Caddy supports HTTP/3 (draft 32), and Nginx is working on it too. No indication from Apache yet.


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RE: HTTP/3? - Added by gstrauss about 1 year ago

but is HTTP/3 anywhere on the radar/roadmap for Lighttpd?

HTTP/3 in lighttpd is on the radar, but not currently on the lighttpd roadmap.

For big tech and CDNs, the last decade+ has spent a huge amount of resources on improving the mobile experience over high-latency cellular. As faster WiFi blankets larger and larger areas, wifi may be preferred by mobile devices versus higher-latency cellular links. mobile browsers, mobile providers, CDNs, and VPNs have various incentives to move towards acting as concentrators and endpoints for mobile. All this diminishes the urgency and need for origin servers to directly support HTTP/3.

Since you seem interested in HTTP/3, please allow me to ask you to help us to understand why HTTP/3 should be a bigger priority for lighttpd. How are you using lighttpd that HTTP/3 is likely to make a difference for you?

RE: HTTP/3? - Added by da about 1 year ago

I forgot to mention, All major web browsers except Safari ship HTTP/3 on by default now. It’s on in Safari Preview builds.

gstrauss wrote in RE: HTTP/3?:

[CDNs, etc.] diminishes the urgency and need for origin servers to directly support HTTP/3.

Proxy-caches/CDNs need to talk to origin servers for any uncached resources. HTTP/3 on the origin can speed up those requests.

There are still tens of millions of smaller websites running on one or a couple of servers, though. Those are the ones that would benefit the most from speeding up connection negotiation.

gstrauss wrote in RE: HTTP/3?:

Since you seem interested in HTTP/3, please allow me to ask you to help us to understand why HTTP/3 should be a bigger priority for lighttpd. How are you using lighttpd that HTTP/3 is likely to make a difference for you?

I’m currently evaluating alternatives to Apache HTTPD. (It’s clunk, the project is staling, and some of its modules are a pain in the ear.) So far, I’ve looked at Caddy, Lighttpd, and OpenLiteSpeed. Lighttpd seems to be the least painful migration. I got it up and running right away, and the documentation is much better than the competition. However, Lighttpd is the only one that hasn’t got support for HTTP/3 yet.

I’m mostly interested in HTTP/3’s improved connection setup performance. It eliminates one roundtrip compared to HTTP/2 (a 20 % improvement). That should translate to 16,6 % improvement on my page load times (5 roundtrips total to render the page instead of 6.)

Google mandates that all webpages must load instantly to rank well. I haven’t gotten anything left to optimize in the so-called “critical rendering path” except to enable HTTP/3. So, I was curious if HTTP/3 support was three months or five years away. There could have been a h3 branch somewhere that I didn’t find.

RE: HTTP/3? - Added by gstrauss about 1 year ago

You make solid points. As a counterpoint, for smaller sites, many CDNs have an inexpensive or free tier. While using a CDN and using HTTP/3 on the origin server are not mutually exclusive, I think that using a CDN would add more reliability and geographic reach to your site (and a higher page rank) than HTTP/3 on the origin server, especially when you have only one (or a few) servers.

the documentation is much better than the competition

I am glad that you have found the documentation useful. Some of the more recently written documentation, such as lighttpd TLS, are more thorough and up-to-date than others. If you find some doc that is dated or deficient, please feel free to post here in the forums with questions for clarification.

So, I was curious if HTTP/3 support was three months or five years away.

A firm timeframe is not possible for me to provide at this moment. lighttpd will very likely support HTTP/3 before the end of 2022, and possibly sooner.

RE: HTTP/3? - Added by gstrauss about 1 year ago

Lighttpd seems to be the least painful migration.

As an aside, if you do run into pain points, please start a thread here in the forums to share them. Thanks.

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