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This document is a draft proposal for Shard Brotli dictionaries in the fetch spec
The goal is to add support for custom dictionaries for Brotli. A dictionary is used
to improve compression. A client can download a dictionary from a server and then
use it to decompress resources compressed with this dictionary.
This document specifies how the client and server negotiate the dictionary over HTTP.
A high level overview is as follows: The server adds an HTTP header to the response
with a URL of the dictionary. The browser downloads the dictionary from the URL and
then caches it so it can be reused. The server also adds a checksum to an HTTP header
which the client uses to verify the dictionary. Caching, CORS, and other existing
mechanisms are used. A dictionary can be a pre-made static dictionary, but does not
have to be, for example a previous page loaded from this server, or an old version
of a page, can be used as well.
Below are changes and additions to add Shared Brotli dictionaries to the fetch spec
Additions to `4.5. HTTP-network-or-cache fetch`
Add to point `15. Modify httpRequest’s header list per HTTP.`:
If the recursive-sbr flag is enabled, `Accept-Encoding` may not contain `sbr`
[NOTE-BOX] When sbr can be used, it is possible to add a header Available-Dict
with the URL and hash code of a cached resource. The server may then use it as
shared dictionary.
Additions to `4.6. HTTP-network fetch`
Add after point `10. Run these steps, but abort if the ongoing fetch is terminated`:
11. Let codings be the result of extracting header list values given
`Content-Encoding` and response’s header list.
12. If codings contains `sbr`
1. If the header list does not contain `Sbr-Dict`, return a network error
2. Let dictionaryId be the result of extracting header list values given
`Sbr-Dict` and response’s header list.
To point `12. Run these substeps in parallel:`, add new first sub-point:
1. If codings contains `sbr`, run these subsubsteps:
1. Let dictionaryResponse be the result of performing a
Shared-Brotli-dictionary fetch given dictionaryId and request.
2. If dictionaryResponse is a network error, return a network error.
Change point `12.4. Set bytes to the result of handling content codings given codings and bytes.` to:
4. Set bytes to the result of handling content codings given codings, bytes
and, if codings contains `sbr`, also dictionaryResponse's body.
[NOTE-BOX] If the dictionary is still being fetched, which happens in
parallel, enqueue bytes in a compressed buffer and handle content coding
once the dictionary is fetched
Additions to `2.2.4. Bodies`
Change last section `To handle content codings ...` to:
To handle content codings given codings, bytes and optionally a dictionary, run these substeps:
1. If codings are not supported, return bytes.
2. If the codings has `sbr`, run these subsubsteps:
a. Return the result of decoding bytes and dictionary with the Shared
Brotli decoder.
[Shared Brotli Spec] [IANA Brotli](
3. Else:
a. Return the result of decoding bytes with the given codings, as
New section `4.10. Shared-Brotli-dictionary fetch`
To perform a Shared-Brotli-dictionary fetch using dictionaryId, and parentRequest, perform these steps:
1. Let dictionaryURL be the URL extracted from dictionaryId
2. Let dictionaryHash be the hash id extracted from dictionaryId
3. Let dictionaryRequest be a new request whose method is `GET`, url is
dictionaryURL, mode is "cors", and client is parentRequest's client.
4. Let dictionaryResponse be the result of performing an
fetch using dictionaryRequest with the recursive-sbr flag set to true.
[NOTE-BOX] For compression benefits, the dictionary should be reused to
decode multiple different responses. We rely on caching to achieve this.
It is suggested for servers to not add any "no-cache" or short "max-age"
Cache-Control directives, and it is suggested for the client to effectively
support caching it.
[NOTE-BOX] Since the same dictionary can be identified by a hash code, a
browser can avoid fetching a dictionary if it already has one with the same
hashed cached from a different source URL.
[NOTE-BOX] It is suggested that a server does not reuse the same URL
to host an updated or different dictionary. Instead the same dictionary URL
should contain a dictionary with the same content and same hash.
5. If dictionaryResponse is a network error, return a network error.
6. If dictionaryResponse's status is not an ok status, return a network error.
7. Let tokens be the result of
[parsing metadata](
given dictionaryHash.
[Subresource Integrity](
8. If tokens is no metadata or the length of tokens is not 1, return a network
9. Let algorithm be the alg component of tokens[0]. If alg is 'hw3', set
algorithm to 256-bit HighwayHash
10. Let digest be the val component of tokens[1].
11. Let hashValue be the result of base64 decoding digest
12. If hashValue is not a valid base64 encoding, return a network error
[NOTE-BOX] All of the supported hashing algorithms are cryptographically
13. Compute the hash code of dictionaryResponse's body using algorithm and
compare this checksum for equality with hashValue. If the computed
checksum does not match hashValue, return a network error.
14. Return dictionaryResponse.