The fourth HTTP Workshop was held in Amsterdam on 2-4 April, 2019.
This time, we were graciously hosted by DATACTIVE at the University of Amsterdam. With views of the canals and good weather, we proceeded to discuss recent events about -- and possible modifications to -- the Web's protocol.
Thirty-five people came, representing a variety of HTTP implementations (including browser vendors, other clients, servers, intermediaries and CDNs). We also had people who worked on content engines like Drupal, and a few folks whose primary interest was in the use of HTTP for APIs. Overall, slightly more than half of the participants had been to a previous workshop.
As before, our conversations ranged over experiences with HTTP as deployed, current standards work and possible future developments.
19 participants responded to a feedback survey. Overall, they felt the workshop was a useful event, with all responses rating at 7 out of 10 or higher:
When asked what the best aspect of the workshop was, we got responses such as:
Being able to talk face to face with people I don't normally get to talk to, HTTP implementor and consumers alike.
Learning from other implementers, and getting a platform to discuss our own ideas.
We shared lots of recent experience and learned from others, [and] all went back home with new ideas and solutions.
The discussions around QUIC and HTTP/3 gave me a really good insight into the state of development of those protocols.
A number of highly valuable information-sharing type discussions, allowing major implementers with different perspectives on HTTP (e.g. browser, server, middle box) to share the sometimes radically-different perspectives from where they stand in the network. Always a huge win out of these events.
Everyone seemed to get useful feedback on their topics, approval was positive while disapproval seemed polite and generally thoughtful.
When we asked for the worst thing about the workshop, we got a few "nothing!" answers, along with some constructive criticism, including statements like:
Diversity was a clear problem. We need to do better.
A lot of times the discussions were very narrow and targeted and did not engage a wide audience in the room.
For some topics, there was not enough time for discussion.
Too much divergence between top-layer and bottom-layer discussions.
The Future of the HTTP Workshop
On the last day, the Program Committee asked for people's thoughts about how we could improve diversity and inclusion in future workshops, since the lack of diversity in our attendees has been troubling us for some time.
We've heard a number of ideas, such as:
- Increasing the size of the event, so that more people can come.
- Locating the event closer to Silicon Valley, since many companies there have more of a focus on diverse hiring, and the Workshop has only been held in Europe to date.
- Co-locating with a larger conference or similar event.
We did hear that a larger event wouldn't scare many people away:
But, at least for European participants (which were the majority of folks there), a US location might be a problem:
Stay tuned for developments.
Many thanks again to our sponsors:
- DATACTIVE - Meeting space and coffee
- UPLEX - Welcome drinks
- Fastly - Workshop dinner
- HAProxy - Social event
Workshop attendees in 2019 were:
- Alan Frindell (Facebook)
- Anne van Kesteren (Mozilla)
- Asbjørn Ulsberg (PayEx)
- Cory Benfield (Apple)
- Craig Taylor (BBC)
- Daniel Stenberg (wolfSSL, curl)
- Darrel Miller (Microsoft, OpenAPI)
- Dragana Damjanovic (Mozilla)
- Hooman Beheshti (Fastly)
- Jiten Mehta (Apple)
- Julian Reschke (Greenbytes)
- Kornel Lesinski (Cloudflare)
- Lucas Pardue (Cloudflare)
- Mark Nottingham (Fastly)
- Mark Thomas (Apache Tomcat)
- Martin Blix Grydeland (Varnish Software)
- Martin Thomson (Mozilla)
- Maximilian Hils (Mitmproxy)
- Mike Bishop (Akamai)
- Mike West (Google)
- Nick Jones (Cloudflare)
- Nils Goroll (Varnish Developer)
- Patrick McManus (Fastly)
- Piotr Sikora (Google)
- Poul-Henning Kamp (Varnish Cache Project)
- Pål Hermunn Johansen (Varnish Software)
- Roberto Peon (Facebook)
- Roy Fielding (Adobe)
- Scott Marshall (Apple)
- Tommy Pauly (Apple)
- Vlad Krasnov (Cloudflare)
- Willy Tarreau (haproxy)
- Wim Leers (Aquia, Drupal)
- Woo Xie (Facebook)
- Yoav Weiss (Google)