re: I'm Addy Osmani, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

re: This is from way back, but I find your origin story quite interesting. Addy Osmani @addyosmani @jergason At 16, wrote a web browser in C++ t...

And a follow up question. Is the work you did on your "Xwebs megabrowser" what paved the way for all browsers to start serving multiple HTTP connections per domain to load a web page?


Haha. Perf always matters :)

For some back-story, when I was growing up in rural Ireland, dial-up internet was pervasive. We spent years on 28.8kbps modems before switching to ISDN, but it was an even longer time before fast cable internet became the norm. There were many times when it could take 2-3 days just to download a music video. Crazy, right?

When it was so easy for a family member to pick up a phone and drop your internet connection, you learned to rely on download managers quite heavily for resuming your network connections.

One idea download managers had was this notion of "chunking" - rather than creating one HTTP connection to a server, what if you created 5 and requested different ranges from the server in parallel? If you were lucky (which seldom happened), you would have a constant speed for just that one connection, but it was often the case that "chunking" led to your file being downloaded just that little bit faster.

I wanted to experiment with applying this notion of "chunking" to web browsers. So if you're fetching a HTML document or an image that was particularly large, would chunking make a difference? As it turns out, there were cases where this could help, but it had a high level of variance. Not all servers want you to create a large number of connections for each resource but the idea made for a fun science project when I was young and learning :)

Back to your question about this paving the way for browsers serving multiple HTTP connections per domain: I think if anything, it was happenstance that I was looking at related ideas. Network engineers working on browsers are far more intelligent than I ever could have been at that age and their research into the benefits of making multiple connections to domains is something I credit to them alone :)

Thanks for taking the time to reply Addy. Keep up the great work and keep that Canadian @_developit in check. I'm not sure how much he knows about perf 🐢. Better check his bundle sizes. 😉

code of conduct - report abuse