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HTTP

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the standard for communication across the web.
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Command line interface hurl.dev

A CLI that runs HTTP requests defined in a simple plain text format

There are a lot of HTTP client tools out there. This one is neat because of its simple/repeatable plain text API that I’d imagine works great for writing integration tests.

# Get home:
GET https://example.net

HTTP/1.1 200
[Captures]
csrf_token: xpath "string(//meta[@name='_csrf_token']/@content)"

# Do login!
POST https://example.net/login?user=toto&password=1234
X-CSRF-TOKEN: {{csrf_token}}

HTTP/1.1 302

Alexander Al github.com

DeepfakeHTTP – Your 100% static dynamic backend

This may seem silly at first, but DeepfakeHTTP actually has a bunch of interesting use cases:

  • Creating the product PoC or demo before even starting out with the backend
  • REST, GraphQL, and other API prototyping and testing
  • Hiding critical enterprise infrastructure behind a simple static facade
  • Hacking and fine-tuning HTTP communications on both server and client sides

Go Time Go Time #193

Caddy V2

Matt Holt joins Jon Calhoun to discuss Caddy, its history, and the process of creating a v2 of the popular web server. In the episode they discuss some of the challenges encountered while building the v2, reasons for doing a major rewrite, and more.

Richard Hipp sqlite.org

Richard Hipp's single file webserver written in C

Althttpd is a simple webserver that has run the sqlite.org website since 2004. Althttpd strives for simplicity, security, and low resource usage.

As of 2018, the althttpd instance for sqlite.org answers about 500,000 HTTP requests per day (about 5 or 6 per second) delivering about 50GB of content per day (about 4.6 megabits/second) on a $40/month Linode. The load average on this machine normally stays around 0.1 or 0.2. About 19% of the HTTP requests are CGI to various Fossil source-code repositories.

Richard has a knack for creating simple, high quality tools. When we did our (now legendary) show with him back in 2016, he was quite keen on coming back at some point to discuss Fossil. Should we make that happen?

Go caddyserver.com

Caddy 2 is production-ready

Caddy has been around for a while, so this is a major release for the project. Hard to believe this is true today (emphasis added)

Still the only web server to use TLS automatically and by default.

Caddy 2’s new architecture was inspired by 5 years of experience with Caddy 1 and took 14 months to design. There’s a lot here, so we probably need to get the team on The Changelog or Go Time to discuss in depth.

Cloudflare Icon Cloudflare

The history of the URL

I love internet history articles like this one from Cloudflare:

On the 11th of January 1982 twenty-two computer scientists met to discuss an issue with ‘computer mail’ (now known as email). Attendees included the guy who would create Sun Microsystems, the guy who made Zork, the NTP guy, and the guy who convinced the government to pay for Unix. The problem was simple: there were 455 hosts on the ARPANET and the situation was getting out of control.

Go github.com

Fiber – an Express inspired web framework for gophers

I know the Go community isn’t one for frameworks, but as a long time framework user myself, I’ve never quite understood the resistance. Fiber doesn’t hide the ball. It comes right out and says “this is a web framework written in Go”. Here’s the philosophy behind that:

New gophers that make the switch from Node.js to Go are dealing with a learning curve before they can start building their web applications or microservices. Fiber, as a web framework, was created with the idea of minimalism and follow UNIX way, so that new gophers can quickly enter the world of Go with a warm and trusted welcome.

Fiber is inspired by Express, the most popular web framework on the Internet. We combined the ease of Express and raw performance of Go. If you have ever implemented a web application on Node.js (using Express or similar), then many methods and principles will seem very common to you.

InfoQ Icon InfoQ

The status of HTTP/3

HTTP/3 is the next protocol for network communication across the Web, which is meant to partially replace HTTP/1 and HTTP/2. One month before the next QUIC Working Group meeting, to be held in Zurich next February, it may be useful to recap what HTTP/3 promises and what its current client/server support looks like.

It’s been awhile since we discussed QUIC and HTTP/3 with curl’s Daniel Stenberg. A lot has happened since then, and this InfoQ article will do a good job of catching you up. Browser support is still limited, but things are coming along nicely.

Julia Evans jvns.ca

How tracking pixels work

A fun, quick dive into Facebook’s tracking pixel and how it does its thing:

I think it’s fun to see how cookies / tracking pixels are used to track you in practice, even if it’s kinda creepy! I sort of knew how this worked before but I’d never actually looked at the cookies on a tracking pixel myself or what kind of information it was sending in its query parameters exactly.

Creepy, indeed. Our browsers are the last line of defense against such creepiness. Choose yours wisely.

Eve Martin ably.io

WebSockets vs Server-Sent Events

Eve Martin:

Sometimes we need information from our servers instantaneously. For this sort of use case our usual AJAX request/response doesn’t cut it. Instead, we need a push-based method like WebSockets, Long Polling, Server-Sent Events (SSE) and - more recently - HTTP2 push. In this article, we compare two methods for implementing realtime - WebSockets and Server-Sent Events, with information on which to use and when.

This is a nice, reasoned comparison of the two technologies: advantages, stumbling blocks, open source resources, etc.

Go github.com

Use HTTP/2 Server Push to create fast and idiomatic client-driven REST APIs

Around the advent of GraphQL, I found myself asking its proponents if HTTP/2 solves any of the same performance problems. Most of the answers were along the lines of, “it might, but that hasn’t been realized yet.” Well, Vulcain is here to realize it.

Over the years, several formats have been created to fix performance bottlenecks impacting web APIs: over fetching, under fetching, the n+1 problem

Current solutions for these problems (GraphQL, JSON:API’s embedded resources and sparse fieldsets, …) are smart network hacks for HTTP/1. But these hacks come with (too) many drawbacks when it comes to HTTP cache, logs and even security.

Fortunately, thanks to the new features introduced in HTTP/2, it’s now possible to create true REST APIs fixing these problems with ease and class! Here comes Vulcain!

See also their comparison between Vulcain, GraphQL, and API formats.

Diego Bernardes github.com

PipeHub - A programmable proxy server

The core idea of this project is to do more with less. PipeHub being a programmable proxy allow users to extend and customize it as needed. Features found in other servers can be added with Go packages.

Not ready for production, but interesting nonetheless. Not sure if PipeHub is something that might serve you well? Here’s some pretty good advice to help you decide:

If your requirement is covered by built-in features present on other servers like Nginx and Caddy, you’re better of with then. PipeHub shines when you need to add logic that traverses the responsibility of multiple servers…

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