Google recently announced their SPDY protocol that they’ve been working on to address a number of inherent non-performant aspects of the HTTP protocol that most of the web depends on. In the last few years the web has shifted much more towards real-time applications. Web application development is starting to think about interaction experiences much closer to desktop apps. It’s not out of bounds to consider the response times of certain queries on a website in terms of keystrokes (~200ms). Moving the request/transmission protocols to catchup with this change makes sense.
One thing that I am happy about with SPDY is that is appears to be built with deployment clearly in mind. This isn’t the first attempt to improve web speeds, it’s not even the best, but it does appear to be the simplest to deploy in to the wild and see rapid adoption. If Apache and Firefox gained support for SDPY out of the box, and it was show that using the protocol would improve server throughput, it would be enough to shift most websites over. That’s only two players. That’s pretty promising.