[webkit-dev] Implementing new WebSocket protocol

Adam Barth abarth at webkit.org
Tue Jun 14 09:49:20 PDT 2011

I think it's important to move forward with the new protocol.  I'm not
sure it matter too much what the transition plan is, but we should
eventually remove the implementation of the old protocol from WebKit.
No one else is going to implement the old protocol.


On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Yuta Kitamura <yutak at chromium.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to propose to start implementing the new WebSocket protocol
> which is discussed in IETF HyBi working group.
> Protocol
> draft: http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-hybi-thewebsocketprotocol-09
> JavaScript API draft: http://dev.w3.org/html5/websockets/
> The new protocol is incompatible with the old one we are currently
> supporting. New additions include:
>   - Binary frame support (Blob / ArrayBuffer)
>   - Frame content masking (to solve security concern raised for the old
> draft)
>   - Protocol extensions (such as frame compression)
> Because of the incompatibility, existing services using WebSockets are going
> to break. However, I think this is a necessary cost we have to pay
> eventually, because:
>   - Other browsers are going to support the new protocol. (Firefox Aurora
> already includes support for the new protocol.)
>   - The earlier we switch the protocols, the smaller shock there will be.
> Safari and Chrome are the only browsers that support WebSocket (the old
> protocol) by default.
>   - There is a security concern raised for the protocol we are currently
> supporting.
> * How to proceed
> My original plan was to implement the new protocol directly (i.e. replacing
> the old implementation in-place). However Alexey (ap) objected to dropping
> support for the old protocol immediately.
> So, I'm currently planning to add a runtime flag to switch the WebSocket
> protocols used by a WebCore's WebSocket implementation. Other possibilities
> are to add a compile-time flag or to use (subversion's) branch, which are
> discussed at:
> https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=60348
> The discussion in this bug has been stalled for a while, but I really would
> like to move forward. Comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
> Regards,
> Yuta
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