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Versions: 00 01 02 03                                                   
Network Working Group                                         V. Krasnov
Internet-Draft                                           Cloudflare Inc.
Intended status: Informational                          October 31, 2016
Expires: May 4, 2017


                  Compression Dictionaries for HTTP/2
             draft-vkrasnov-h2-compression-dictionaries-01

Abstract

   This document specifies a new HTTP/2 frame type and new HTTP/2
   settings values that would enable the use of previously transferred
   data as compression dictionaries, significantly improving overall
   compression ratio for a given connection.

   In addition, this document proposes to define a set of industry
   standard, static, dictionaries to be used with any Lempel-Ziv based
   compression for the common textual MIME types prevalent on the web.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 4, 2017.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must



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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Conventions and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  HTTP/2 Extension  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  Extension Settings  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.2.  Extension Frames  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
       2.2.1.  The SET_DICTIONARY Frame  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
       2.2.2.  The USE_DICTIONARY Frame  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.3.  Static Dictionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Dictionary State  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.1.  Server Behaviour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  Client Behaviour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     5.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     5.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

1.  Introduction

   The HTTP/2 [RFC7540] protocol encourages the use of many small assets
   for CSS/JS/HTML, due to its multiplexed nature.  Prior to HTTP/2,
   asset inlining was encouraged, resulting in fewer, larger assets per
   website.

   The HTTP/2 protocol also allows for transmitted data to be compressed
   with a lossless compression format.  The format used is specified in
   the "Content-Encoding" (see [RFC2616], section 14.11) header field.
   For example, "Content-Encoding: br" means the data was compressed
   using the Brotli format.

   The nature of the compression algorithms, such as DEFLATE [RFC1951]
   and Brotli [RFC7932], used with HTTP in practice, require a certain
   "window" of data to perform backward matching.  Therefore, larger
   files have much better compression ratio.  To improve compression for
   smaller files, these algorithms allow to use a chunk of arbitrary
   data as a "Custom Dictionary" and function as the initial sliding
   window.

   While compression, especially of dynamic resources, is a compute-
   heavy operation, where investing more compute power results in
   diminishing returns (in terms of compression ratio).  This technique
   is known to improve compression ratio significantly, while not



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   requiring significant additional processing time, and is supported by
   most LZ based compression formats.

   This document introduces a mechanism for using previously transmitted
   data over HTTP/2 as a dictionary to be used with an underlying
   compression algorithm.

1.1.  Conventions and Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC
   2119 [RFC2119].

2.  HTTP/2 Extension

2.1.  Extension Settings

   The extension introduces two new SETTINGS values.

   SETTINGS_ENABLE_DICTIONARIES(0xTBA):  This setting can be used to
      enable the use of Compression Dictionaries for a given connection.
      The value indicates how many dictionaries the sender is willing to
      maintain.  The default value is 0, the maximal value is 256.
      Value higher than 256 may indicate that the sender is willing to
      initialize the dictionaries with the default preset values.  In
      that case the actual value for this setting is computed as "value
      - 256".

   SETTINGS_MAX_DICTIONARY_SIZE(0xTBA):  Indicates the size of the
      largest dictionary that the sender is willing to maintain, in
      octets.  The initial value is 2^17 (131,072 octets).

2.2.  Extension Frames

2.2.1.  The SET_DICTIONARY Frame

   The SET_DICTIONARY frame (type=0xTBA).

   +-------------+-------------+
   | Dict ID (8) |   Size (8)  |
   +-------------+-------------+

   The SET_DICTIONARY frame can be sent from the server to the client,
   on any client initiated stream in the open or half-closed (remote)
   states.  The SET_DICTIONARY frame MUST preced any DATA frames on that
   stream.  The SET_DICTIONARY frame SHOULD be followed by sufficient
   DATA frames to fill Size octets after decompression, even if an RST



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   frame was received for that stream.  If not enough DATA was sent, the
   Dictionary for the given ID is considered uninitialized.

   More than one SET_DICTIONARY frames MAY be sent on a given stream.

   The SET_DICTIONARY frame contains the following fields:

   Dict ID:  an 8-bit ID, indicates the dictionary.  MUST be lower than
      the value agreed by the SETTINGS_ENABLE_DICTIONARIES setting.

   Size:  Indicates how many octets (as a power of 2) of the given
      stream will be used.  If Size is greater than the length of the
      transmitted data, then all of the data will be used.

   The SET_DICTIONARY frame defines the following flag:

   APPEND (0x1):  Indicates that the data is to be appended to the
      existing dictionary with the given ID, as opposed to replacing it
      with the new data.

2.2.2.  The USE_DICTIONARY Frame

   The USE_DICTIONARY frame (type=0xTBA).

   +-------------+
   | Dict ID (8) |
   +-------------+

   The USE_DICTIONARY frame indicates that the current frame is to be
   decompressed with the indicated dictionary.  The USE_DICTIONARY frame
   MUST be sent before any DATA frame on a given stream.  SET_DICTIONARY
   and USE_DICTIONARY frames can be sent on the same stream.

   The USE_DICTIONARY frame contains the following fields:

   Dict ID:  an 8-bit ID that indicates which dictionary to use.

2.3.  Static Dictionaries

   This document proposes to generate a set of up to 8 standard
   dictionaries to be optionally bundled with supporting
   implementations.  Each dictionary should be 32,768 or 65,536 octets
   long.

   Each static dictionary will be identified by an integer ID in the
   range {1..7}.





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   A client that supports the use of static dictionaries, will notify
   the server by sending a value of SETTINGS_ENABLE_DICTIONARIES greater
   than 256.

   If the server also supports the use of static dictionaries, it will
   respond in a similar fashion.

   If the client and the server agreed on the use of static
   dictionaries, then both will initialize the first 8 dictionaries,
   with the contents of the static dictionaries.  If the value of
   SETTINGS_ENABLE_DICTIONARIES agreed upon is lower than 256 + 8, then
   as many dictionaries as needed will be initialized.

3.  Dictionary State

   Both the server and the client MUST process the SET_DICTIONARY and
   USE_DICTIONARY frames in the order they are sent/received, with the
   exception when both are sent over the same stream.  In that case
   USE_DICTIONARY is processed prior to all the SET_DICTIONARY frames.

   Doing otherwise will result in an illegal state of the dictionaries.
   This is similar to the way HEADER frames are processed in order to
   maintain legal HPACK state on the server and the client.

   All the dictionaries are initially uninitialized.  If the use of
   static dictionaries is agreed upon by both parties, then the
   dictionaries are initialized as described in Section 2.3.

   When SET_DICTIONARY is used, both the server and the client will
   either use the first Size bytes of the stream, after decompression,
   as the dictionary, or in case the APPEND flag is set, take the first
   Size of the stream after decompression, and append it from the end of
   the existing dictionary.  If the resulting dictionary is larger than
   the SETTINGS_MAX_DICTIONARY_SIZE, then only the last
   SETTINGS_MAX_DICTIONARY_SIZE octets are used.

3.1.  Server Behaviour

   The server MAY send a SET_DICTIONARY frame on any client initiated
   stream in the open or half-closed (remote) states, prior to sending
   any DATA on that stream.

   After the server sends a SET_DICTIONARY stream with a given ID, it
   MUST not use the dictionary for compression, until it sent sufficient
   data for the dictionary to become usable by the client.  Sufficient
   data is computed as the size of the data after decompression.





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   After sufficient data was sent, the server MAY use the associated
   dictionary on any subsequent stream by sending the USE_DICTIONARY
   frame.

3.2.  Client Behaviour

   When receiving a USE_DICTIONARY frame, the client will use the
   specified dictionary to decompress the DATA.

   A given stream may receive a SET_DICTIONARY and USE_DICTIONARY with
   the same ID.  In that case the stream is decompressed with the old
   dictionary and then the dictionary is updated as required.

   If a USE_DICTIONARY frame arrives for an uninitialized dictionary,
   this is considered as stream error of type COMPRESSION_ERROR.

4.  Security Considerations

   As with any compression scheme, using cross-stream compression is
   potentially more sensitive to [BREACH] type of attacks.

   Therefore, this extension SHALL be disabled by default by all server
   implementations.

   If a server acts as an intermediary, then it MUST NOT enable cross-
   stream compression, unless the origin also enables cross-stream
   compression.  If the origin does not use the HTTP/2 protocol, the
   intermediary server MUST NOT use cross-stream compression, unless
   notified by the origin explicitly by either a receipt of a pre-agreed
   upon HTTP header, or out-of-band.

   In addition, a server SHOULD avoid the use cross-stream compression
   on cross-site requests.

   The serve MAY always use the predefined static dictionaries.

5.  References

5.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.







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   [RFC2616]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee, "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2616, June 1999,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2616>.

   [RFC7540]  Belshe, M., Peon, R., and M. Thomson, Ed., "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol Version 2 (HTTP/2)", RFC 7540,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7540, May 2015,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7540>.

5.2.  Informative References

   [BREACH]   Prado, A., Harris, N., and Y. Gluck, "BREACH: SSL, Gone in
              30 Seconds", 2013, <http://breachattack.com/>.

   [RFC1951]  Deutsch, P., "DEFLATE Compressed Data Format Specification
              version 1.3", RFC 1951, DOI 10.17487/RFC1951, May 1996,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1951>.

   [RFC7932]  Alakuijala, J. and Z. Szabadka, "Brotli Compressed Data
              Format", RFC 7932, DOI 10.17487/RFC7932, July 2016,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7932>.

Author's Address

   Vlad Krasnov
   Cloudflare Inc.

   Email: vlad@cloudflare.com





















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