Google announced a change today which will become more prevalent in Chrome over the months and years to come. For most, this change will seem meaningless and for most user purposes, it probably is. What is meant by this, is that users won’t necessarily know the change has taken effect. That said, the change will manifest itself in much-improved browser experiences and in these respects, users will benefit from today’s news even if they unaware as to why or how they have. What we are talking about is Google bidding farewell to what is known as ‘SPDY’.
SPDY (worth noting it is pronounced Spedy) was designed by Google to replace what we know as HTTP 1.1. This is the underlying networking protocol that powers the internet. For years now (since 1999 actually), websites have ran on HTTP 1.1. In an attempt to speed up the process and limit the need for more communications between a server and client, Google introduced SPDY. However, since SPDY’s introduction, the next generation of HTTP (known as HTTP/2) has come to prominence. This was actually somewhat influenced by SPDY and as such, encompassed a lot of the features introduced by SPDY.
As a result of HTTP/2 become far more widespread, Google’s announcement today was to bid farewell to their homegrown SPDY and instead (from Google’s perspective), welcome the era of HTTP/2. This welcoming comes in the form of Google announcing that they will begin a rollout of support for HTTP/2 to Chrome 40 in the coming weeks. According to the Google post on the Chromium blog, Google advise the main differences one can expect from the transition to HTTP/2, will be a much improved and faster browsing experience. Following on from the transition to HTTP/2, Google announced support for SPDY will finally come to an end in early 2016. As the blog posting states “Chrome has supported SPDY since Chrome 6, but since most of the benefits are present in HTTP/2, it’s time to say goodbye”. So if you are developer who previously worked with SPDY, you may want to now begin to plan to shift focus over to HTTP/2. As Google puts it, hello HTTP/2, goodbye SPDY.