Viva La Revolución

Jetty embraces Google’s SPDY

Chris Mayer
Jetty

The open source server places its chips on Google’s ‘Speedy’ protocol and proclaims a revolution.

Open source server Jetty has included experimental support for
Google’s SPDY protocol, its latest exploration into providing
super-fast web pages.

The SPDY protocol, already deployed in the latest Chrome
browsers and on Amazon’s Kindle, is a fundamental rethinking of the
old HTTP approach, claiming to reduce browser latency by a factor
of three for some webpages. Although not entirely cutting itself
free of HTTP, SPDY offers
improved latency, throughput and efficiency by reducing
HTTP’s verbosity, with the hope that it will be at the forefront of
the mobile browser environment.

And Jetty is getting in on the action early with Jetty-SPDY, as
part of their latest releases, Jetty 7.6.2 and 8.1.2.
The source code isn’t available to play with until next time round
though, as it somehow slipped out of the distribution.

With Twitter flicking the SPDY switch on last month and
all of Google’s services provisionally supporting it, the decision
for Jetty to push the boat out was a simple one. After all, 50% of
browsers are offering a glimpse into SPDY’s potential.

Some may question Google’s intentions here – it is pretty
much an attempt to use their market share to instill this huge
shift. But as pointed out on the Jetty developers blog, this
attempt from Google has good merits. GregW of Jetty
said:

I’ve not been shy in the past of pointing
out 
google’s
failings
 to engage with the community in good faith,
but in this case I think they have done an excellent job.  The
SPDY protocol has been an 
open project for over
two years and they have published specs and actively solicited
feedback and participation.  More over, they are intending to
take the protocol to the 
IETF for standardisation and
have already submitted a 
draft to
the httpbis working group. 


The post
offers a good view of the entire Google project,
concluding that despite some reservations over the unilateral
approach and the fact that they could gain an internet monopoly,
Google have been open about how they want to make the web faster.
And that can only be a good thing in our view.

The Jetty developer team are certainly keeping their finger on
the pulse, first supporting emerging protocol WebSocket and
now SPDY. A pure Java implementation of the Next Protocol
Negotiation (NPN) TLS Extension
, also available in Jetty 7.6.2
and 8.1.2.

They are encouraging early adopters to test out Jetty’s SPDY and
give feedback via jetty-dev@eclipse.org.
Expect SPDY to become an ever-present for many open source servers
in the future.

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