From Files to Streams: Revisiting Web History and Exploring Potentials for Future Prospects

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Over the last 30 years, the World Wide Web has changed significantly. In this paper, we argue that common practices to prepare web pages for delivery conflict with many efforts to present content with minimal latency, one fundamental goal that pushed changes in the WWW. To bolster our arguments, we revisit reasons that led to changes of HTTP and compare them systematically with techniques to prepare web pages. We found that the structure of many web pages leverages features of HTTP/1.1 but hinders the use of recent HTTP features to present content quickly. To improve the situation in the future, we propose fine-grained content segmentation. This would allow to exploit streaming capabilities of recent HTTP versions and to render content as quickly as possible without changing underlying protocols or web browsers.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW '24: Companion Proceedings of the ACM on Web Conference 2024
PublisherACM New York, NY, USA
Number of pages4
ISBN (print)979-8-4007-0172-6
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2024

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-3825-2807/work/159607674
Mendeley d354b14f-3dff-34b2-baa5-1f8c3ee332b4


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