Google Introduces New Web Protocol QUIC To Make The Web Faster

In order to make ‘web’ faster, Google has been secretly working on a new web protocol called QUIC. The company has released the source code for Chromium implementation of Quic on their website.

François Beaufort of Google says, “From what I understand, and I’m not a transport-security guy, it looks like a improved version of UDP with some extra features such as encryption.”

He further says that “You can already run chrome with –enable-quic switch to enable it and go to chrome://net-internals/#quic to see nothing. Yup. Since I don’t know any QUIC server yet, it’s kinda hard to test ;) And if you try with another switch such as –origin-port-to-force-quic-on=80, you won’t be able to browse at all.”

Jan Wildeboer of Red Hat has raised some concern over the ‘open’ nature of the protocol. He says, “Google trying to introduce yet another proprietary protocol instead of open standards? And even if the implementation is open source, the specification is vendor driven, not an open standard AFAICS. IMHO this is not acceptable.”

But Simon Phipps, the president and director of Open Source Initiative tends to disagree with Wildeboer and says, “On the contrary, +Jan Wildeboer, this is exactly how standards should work; with a strong working example and open source code. As long as Google bow to consensus when the standards discussion occurs, what we will see is working ideas perfected and then mature consensus standardised.”

Phipps does warn that “What’s bad is when a vendor refuses open discussion like with ODF and OOXML,  or when they refuse to bow to consensus, like happened with the process around SVG.  What’s worst is when vendors design technology at standards bodies instead of openly in the market, like in the case of SOAP.”

Jochen Wiedmann, a senior consultant with Software AG also diasgreed stating, “I beg to differ: For all practical purposes, an open source implementation under a liberal license, like Chrome’s, is as good as an open specification. (Leaving patent issues aside, but that problem exists anyways.)”

Google so far has held the reputation of being a supporter of open standards and this protocol doesn’t seem to be an exception. If you remember, they created and then opened SPYD as an open de facto standard protocol. So in my opinion it’s too early to call QUIC proprietary, looking at the history of Google and examples like SPDY.

To add further excitement Beaufort added, “On a side note, after SPDY, here’s QUIC. What’s next? RAPID, BRISK, FAST.”

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Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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