Re: [HTTPfutures] Dan Connolly on HTTP goofs and musings / Two Way Web

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From: Lucas Gonze (
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 11:09:08 PDT

> Definitely got the One Way Web right. My question is, can the One Way
> Web evolve into the Two Way Web?
> When Rohit talks about the "Two Way Web", he discusses "the belief that
> HTTP has three flaws, so fundamental they're rarely even noticed:
> 1. It's ONE-WAY data flow, requiring clients to initiate
> 2. It's ONE-TO-ONE data flow, preventing group synchronization or
> 3. It's ONE-SHOT data flow, only reliable if the origin server's up"

Rohit completely right on this stuff, but I add one less abstract problem -
browser centricity of proxy servers.

Proxies unilaterally disconnect long lived streams at a timeout, usually
5-15 mins. Without acks it is impossible for a sender to know which
messages were sent but not received. So an http based protocol like SOAP
has to support retransmission by numbering packets, caching them, setting up
some kind of ack, and manually doing reassembly. In other words, the
browser assumptions of the infrastructure force us to reinvent TCP on top of
HTTP as if HTTP were IP, and that leads to a situation where we get TCP,
except slow and buggy. bleh. bleh. bleh.

This must have been discussed by hard core HTTPists like Roy F. Anybody
know what the result was?

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