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I recently upgraded my Internet service with Telus, which included a new wireless router to replace my old high-speed modem. The new router is a 2Wire 2700HG-E which is configured through a web interface.

The web interface worked fine at first on some other machines, but whenever I accessed it from my main desktop machine the pages would either fail to load, or have the images in the wrong locations. After much debugging (though it seems obvious now) I finally discovered that this was due to my enabling HTTP pipelining in FireFox on that machine (as suggested by Mozilla).

Being the diligent citizen that I am, I of course filed a support request so that this could be fixed in the next version of the 2Wire software. Here is the response I received:

The HomePortal GUI was designed for internet browsers on default settings. We recommend keeping the pipelineing [sic] setting on "false".

Not exactly a good solution, and a little surprising, considering it's relatively straight-forward to implement. I know because I recently upgraded a simple HTTP handler from 1.0 to 1.1 specifically to support pipelining, as part of my work on DebTorrent.

Now I've just read "Structured streams: a new transport abstraction", in which the authors state:

implementing pipelining correctly in web servers has proven challenging enough that seven years after the standardization of HTTP/1.1, popular browsers still leave pipelining disabled for compatibility

So it seems pipelining is disabled for a reason, though I had it enabled for years in FireFox and saw no problems (that I know of) until now. Maybe the problems are a thing of the past. Does anyone else have any experiences (good or bad) with pipelining to share?

Posted Fri Sep 21 20:39:20 2007 Tags: tech