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HTTP pipelining to arrive in Chrome 17


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4I0am.pngBasic support for HTTP pipelining has been added to a recent nightly build (106464) of the future Chrome 17. The feature was first requested back in 2009 but took until now for it to be developed and released. HTTP pipelining is a technique used to send multiple requests on a single connection resulting in faster loading times of pages. By using HTTP pipelining, fewer TCP packets need to be sent therefore reducing the network load.

Browsers have different levels of capabilities with this functionality; for example, Opera has fully functional HTTP pipelining, and Firefox has the capability but it is not turned on by default. In this newest release pipelining can be enabled by going to chrome://flags and activating it by clicking the HTTP pipelining checkbox; the browser will require restarting to complete enabling the functionality.

In this implementation proxies are not supported, and Google cautions that not all servers at present currently support pipelining correctly. Chrome 17 is currently a nightly build; it will eventually end up in the dev channel of Chrome, followed by the beta and then stable channels; this happens approximately every six weeks, according to the release process. It is not known when Google plans, if it does plan to, to turn HTTP pipelining on by default.

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