A would-be standard based on push vendor Marimba's technology aims to reduce Internet bottlenecks within corporations. Backed by Netscape, Novell, Sun and others - but not Microsoft - Marimba submitted its Distribution and Replication Protocol (DRP) to the Internet standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), yesterday.
The protocol, Marimba claims, is based on its Castanet Tuner technology - already embedded in Netscape Communicator - and provides an enhancement for HTTP that creates a more efficient format for distributing data, software programs or content across the Net. It does this by only sending new material back to the desktop when it updates or refreshes Web files from the server, rather than a complete download.
"The big winner is the company looking to communicate with customers over the Internet," said Marimba chief executive Kim Polese.
Other companies supporting DRP include Peoplesoft, Fujitsu, Sybase and Symantec, and it is under review by IBM. Polese said that, although Microsoft had not come out in support yet, it was also evaluating the technology.
Although Marimba has worked more closely with Netscape than its browser rival Microsoft, it keeps its options open across the warring camps. A few weeks ago, it teamed with Microsoft to propose another standard to the W3C, this time a data format - the Open Data Description - for automating distribution of software updates across the Net. Both this and the DRP are complementary to the Channel Definition Format, the standard description of push content backed by Microsoft.
Tim Berners-Lee, director of the W3C, said congestion was a long standing and growing problem and that DRP would be discussed, along with other aspects of push technology, at a session of the standards consortium to be held in two weeks' time. However, approval of a new standard can take six months to a year.
If the protocol is ratified by the W3C, it will probably be submitted to the Internet Task Force, which controls the HTTP standard and has a sub-group dedicated to extending the technology.
Dave Cope, Marimba's vice president of marketing, claimed DRP does not clash with any other existing or proposed standards and is aimed at a different market to multicasting technologies under development at Microsoft. These aim to update users' desktops more efficiently too, but are applicable to constantly connected corporate users rather than the general public or intermittent Intranet users, he explained.
Freshly launched 11nm Qualcomm silicon will come with Adreno 612 GPU
Are pinning down the exact rate of expansion of the Hubble constant
RISC OS 5 to form the basis of RISC OS Open after Castle Technology sells to RISC OS Developments
A smartphone maker fiddling its benchmarking scores? That's unusual, isn't it?