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

Research output: Preprint/documentation/reportPreprint


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
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024
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External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-3825-2807/work/155840129


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • cs.NI