This specification defines QPACK: a compression format for efficiently representing HTTP fields that is to be used in HTTP/3. This is a variation of HPACK compression that seeks to reduce head-of-line blocking.
This is an Internet Standards Track document.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9204.
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- 1. Introduction
- 2. Compression Process Overview
- 3. Reference Tables
- 4. Wire Format
- 4.1. Primitives
- 4.2. Encoder and Decoder Streams
- 4.3. Encoder Instructions
- 4.4. Decoder Instructions
- 4.5. Field Line Representations
- 5. Configuration
- 6. Error Handling
- 7. Security Considerations
- 8. IANA Considerations
- 9. References
- Appendix A. Static Table
- Appendix B. Encoding and Decoding Examples
- Appendix C. Sample Single-Pass Encoding Algorithm
- Authors' Addresses
The QUIC transport protocol ([QUIC-TRANSPORT]) is designed to support HTTP semantics, and its design subsumes many of the features of HTTP/2 ([HTTP/2]). HTTP/2 uses HPACK ([RFC7541]) for compression of the header and trailer sections. If HPACK were used for HTTP/3 ([HTTP/3]), it would induce head-of-line blocking for field sections due to built-in assumptions of a total ordering across frames on all streams.
QPACK reuses core concepts from HPACK, but is redesigned to allow correctness in the presence of out-of-order delivery, with flexibility for implementations to balance between resilience against head-of-line blocking and optimal compression ratio. The design goals are to closely approach the compression ratio of HPACK with substantially less head-of-line blocking under the same loss conditions.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.
The following terms are used in this document:
- HTTP fields:
- Metadata sent as part of an HTTP message. The term encompasses both header and trailer fields. Colloquially, the term "headers" has often been used to refer to HTTP header fields and trailer fields; this document uses "fields" for generality.
- HTTP field line:
- HTTP field value:
- Data associated with a field name, composed from all field line values with that field name in that section, concatenated together with comma separators.
- Field section:
- An ordered collection of HTTP field lines associated with an HTTP message. A field section can contain multiple field lines with the same name. It can also contain duplicate field lines. An HTTP message can include both header and trailer sections.
- An instruction that represents a field line, possibly by reference to the dynamic and static tables.
- An implementation that encodes field sections.
- An implementation that decodes encoded field sections.
- Absolute Index:
- A unique index for each entry in the dynamic table.
- A reference point for relative and post-Base indices. Representations that reference dynamic table entries are relative to a Base.
- Insert Count:
- The total number of entries inserted in the dynamic table.
Note that QPACK is a name, not an abbreviation.
- x (A)
- Indicates that x is A bits long.
- x (A+)
- Indicates that x uses the prefixed integer encoding defined in Section 4.1.1, beginning with an A-bit prefix.
- x ...
- Indicates that x is variable length and extends to the end of the region.
Like HPACK, QPACK uses two tables for associating field lines ("headers") to indices. The static table (Section 3.1) is predefined and contains common header field lines (some of them with an empty value). The dynamic table (Section 3.2) is built up over the course of the connection and can be used by the encoder to index both header and trailer field lines in the encoded field sections.
QPACK defines unidirectional streams for sending instructions from encoder to decoder and vice versa.
An encoder converts a header or trailer section into a series of representations by emitting either an indexed or a literal representation for each field line in the list; see Section 4.5. Indexed representations achieve high compression by replacing the literal name and possibly the value with an index to either the static or dynamic table. References to the static table and literal representations do not require any dynamic state and never risk head-of-line blocking. References to the dynamic table risk head-of-line blocking if the encoder has not received an acknowledgment indicating the entry is available at the decoder.
An encoder MAY insert any entry in the dynamic table it chooses; it is not limited to field lines it is compressing.
QPACK preserves the ordering of field lines within each field section. An encoder MUST emit field representations in the order they appear in the input field section.
QPACK is designed to place the burden of optional state tracking on the encoder, resulting in relatively simple decoders.
Inserting entries into the dynamic table might not be possible if the table contains entries that cannot be evicted.
A dynamic table entry cannot be evicted immediately after insertion, even if it has never been referenced. Once the insertion of a dynamic table entry has been acknowledged and there are no outstanding references to the entry in unacknowledged representations, the entry becomes evictable. Note that references on the encoder stream never preclude the eviction of an entry, because those references are guaranteed to be processed before the instruction evicting the entry.
If the dynamic table does not contain enough room for a new entry without evicting other entries, and the entries that would be evicted are not evictable, the encoder MUST NOT insert that entry into the dynamic table (including duplicates of existing entries). In order to avoid this, an encoder that uses the dynamic table has to keep track of each dynamic table entry referenced by each field section until those representations are acknowledged by the decoder; see Section 4.4.1.
To ensure that the encoder is not prevented from adding new entries, the encoder can avoid referencing entries that are close to eviction. Rather than reference such an entry, the encoder can emit a Duplicate instruction (Section 4.3.4) and reference the duplicate instead.
Determining which entries are too close to eviction to reference is an encoder preference. One heuristic is to target a fixed amount of available space in the dynamic table: either unused space or space that can be reclaimed by evicting non-blocking entries. To achieve this, the encoder can maintain a draining index, which is the smallest absolute index (Section 3.2.4) in the dynamic table that it will emit a reference for. As new entries are inserted, the encoder increases the draining index to maintain the section of the table that it will not reference. If the encoder does not create new references to entries with an absolute index lower than the draining index, the number of unacknowledged references to those entries will eventually become zero, allowing them to be evicted.
<-- Newer Entries Older Entries --> (Larger Indices) (Smaller Indices) +--------+---------------------------------+----------+ | Unused | Referenceable | Draining | | Space | Entries | Entries | +--------+---------------------------------+----------+ ^ ^ ^ | | | Insertion Point Draining Index Dropping Point
Figure 1: Draining Dynamic Table Entries
Because QUIC does not guarantee order between data on different streams, a decoder might encounter a representation that references a dynamic table entry that it has not yet received.
Each encoded field section contains a Required Insert Count (Section 4.5.1), the lowest possible value for the Insert Count with which the field section can be decoded. For a field section encoded using references to the dynamic table, the Required Insert Count is one larger than the largest absolute index of all referenced dynamic table entries. For a field section encoded with no references to the dynamic table, the Required Insert Count is zero.
When the decoder receives an encoded field section with a Required Insert Count greater than its own Insert Count, the stream cannot be processed immediately and is considered "blocked"; see Section 2.2.1.
The decoder specifies an upper bound on the number of streams that can be blocked using the SETTINGS_QPACK_BLOCKED_STREAMS setting; see Section 5. An encoder MUST limit the number of streams that could become blocked to the value of SETTINGS_QPACK_BLOCKED_STREAMS at all times. If a decoder encounters more blocked streams than it promised to support, it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED.
Note that the decoder might not become blocked on every stream that risks becoming blocked.
An encoder can decide whether to risk having a stream become blocked. If permitted by the value of SETTINGS_QPACK_BLOCKED_STREAMS, compression efficiency can often be improved by referencing dynamic table entries that are still in transit, but if there is loss or reordering, the stream can become blocked at the decoder. An encoder can avoid the risk of blocking by only referencing dynamic table entries that have been acknowledged, but this could mean using literals. Since literals make the encoded field section larger, this can result in the encoder becoming blocked on congestion or flow-control limits.
Writing instructions on streams that are limited by flow control can produce deadlocks.
A decoder might stop issuing flow-control credit on the stream that carries an encoded field section until the necessary updates are received on the encoder stream. If the granting of flow-control credit on the encoder stream (or the connection as a whole) depends on the consumption and release of data on the stream carrying the encoded field section, a deadlock might result.
More generally, a stream containing a large instruction can become deadlocked if the decoder withholds flow-control credit until the instruction is completely received.
To avoid these deadlocks, an encoder SHOULD NOT write an instruction unless sufficient stream and connection flow-control credit is available for the entire instruction.
The Known Received Count is the total number of dynamic table insertions and duplications acknowledged by the decoder. The encoder tracks the Known Received Count in order to identify which dynamic table entries can be referenced without potentially blocking a stream. The decoder tracks the Known Received Count in order to be able to send Insert Count Increment instructions.
A Section Acknowledgment instruction (Section 4.4.1) implies that the decoder has received all dynamic table state necessary to decode the field section. If the Required Insert Count of the acknowledged field section is greater than the current Known Received Count, the Known Received Count is updated to that Required Insert Count value.
As in HPACK, the decoder processes a series of representations and emits the corresponding field sections. It also processes instructions received on the encoder stream that modify the dynamic table. Note that encoded field sections and encoder stream instructions arrive on separate streams. This is unlike HPACK, where encoded field sections (header blocks) can contain instructions that modify the dynamic table, and there is no dedicated stream of HPACK instructions.
The decoder MUST emit field lines in the order their representations appear in the encoded field section.
Upon receipt of an encoded field section, the decoder examines the Required Insert Count. When the Required Insert Count is less than or equal to the decoder's Insert Count, the field section can be processed immediately. Otherwise, the stream on which the field section was received becomes blocked.
While blocked, encoded field section data SHOULD remain in the blocked stream's flow-control window. This data is unusable until the stream becomes unblocked, and releasing the flow control prematurely makes the decoder vulnerable to memory exhaustion attacks. A stream becomes unblocked when the Insert Count becomes greater than or equal to the Required Insert Count for all encoded field sections the decoder has started reading from the stream.
When processing encoded field sections, the decoder expects the Required Insert Count to equal the lowest possible value for the Insert Count with which the field section can be decoded, as prescribed in Section 2.1.2. If it encounters a Required Insert Count smaller than expected, it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED; see Section 2.2.3. If it encounters a Required Insert Count larger than expected, it MAY treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED.
The decoder signals the following events by emitting decoder instructions (Section 4.4) on the decoder stream.
After the decoder finishes decoding a field section encoded using representations containing dynamic table references, it MUST emit a Section Acknowledgment instruction (Section 4.4.1). A stream may carry multiple field sections in the case of intermediate responses, trailers, and pushed requests. The encoder interprets each Section Acknowledgment instruction as acknowledging the earliest unacknowledged field section containing dynamic table references sent on the given stream.
When an endpoint receives a stream reset before the end of a stream or before all encoded field sections are processed on that stream, or when it abandons reading of a stream, it generates a Stream Cancellation instruction; see Section 4.4.2. This signals to the encoder that all references to the dynamic table on that stream are no longer outstanding. A decoder with a maximum dynamic table capacity (Section 3.2.3) equal to zero MAY omit sending Stream Cancellations, because the encoder cannot have any dynamic table references. An encoder cannot infer from this instruction that any updates to the dynamic table have been received.
The Section Acknowledgment and Stream Cancellation instructions permit the encoder to remove references to entries in the dynamic table. When an entry with an absolute index lower than the Known Received Count has zero references, then it is considered evictable; see Section 2.1.1.
After receiving new table entries on the encoder stream, the decoder chooses when to emit Insert Count Increment instructions; see Section 4.4.3. Emitting this instruction after adding each new dynamic table entry will provide the timeliest feedback to the encoder, but could be redundant with other decoder feedback. By delaying an Insert Count Increment instruction, the decoder might be able to coalesce multiple Insert Count Increment instructions or replace them entirely with Section Acknowledgments; see Section 4.4.1. However, delaying too long may lead to compression inefficiencies if the encoder waits for an entry to be acknowledged before using it.
If the decoder encounters a reference in a field line representation to a dynamic table entry that has already been evicted or that has an absolute index greater than or equal to the declared Required Insert Count (Section 4.5.1), it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED.
If the decoder encounters a reference in an encoder instruction to a dynamic table entry that has already been evicted, it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_ENCODER_STREAM_ERROR.
Unlike in HPACK, entries in the QPACK static and dynamic tables are addressed separately. The following sections describe how entries in each table are addressed.
The static table consists of a predefined list of field lines, each of which has a fixed index over time. Its entries are defined in Appendix A.
All entries in the static table have a name and a value. However, values can be empty (that is, have a length of 0). Each entry is identified by a unique index.
Note that the QPACK static table is indexed from 0, whereas the HPACK static table is indexed from 1.
When the decoder encounters an invalid static table index in a field line representation, it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED. If this index is received on the encoder stream, this MUST be treated as a connection error of type QPACK_ENCODER_STREAM_ERROR.
The dynamic table consists of a list of field lines maintained in first-in, first-out order. A QPACK encoder and decoder share a dynamic table that is initially empty. The encoder adds entries to the dynamic table and sends them to the decoder via instructions on the encoder stream; see Section 4.3.
The dynamic table can contain duplicate entries (i.e., entries with the same name and same value). Therefore, duplicate entries MUST NOT be treated as an error by the decoder.
Dynamic table entries can have empty values.
The size of the dynamic table is the sum of the size of its entries.
The size of an entry is the sum of its name's length in bytes, its value's length in bytes, and 32 additional bytes. The size of an entry is calculated using the length of its name and value without Huffman encoding applied.
The encoder sets the capacity of the dynamic table, which serves as the upper limit on its size. The initial capacity of the dynamic table is zero. The encoder sends a Set Dynamic Table Capacity instruction (Section 4.3.1) with a non-zero capacity to begin using the dynamic table.
Before a new entry is added to the dynamic table, entries are evicted from the end of the dynamic table until the size of the dynamic table is less than or equal to (table capacity - size of new entry). The encoder MUST NOT cause a dynamic table entry to be evicted unless that entry is evictable; see Section 2.1.1. The new entry is then added to the table. It is an error if the encoder attempts to add an entry that is larger than the dynamic table capacity; the decoder MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_ENCODER_STREAM_ERROR.
A new entry can reference an entry in the dynamic table that will be evicted when adding this new entry into the dynamic table. Implementations are cautioned to avoid deleting the referenced name or value if the referenced entry is evicted from the dynamic table prior to inserting the new entry.
Whenever the dynamic table capacity is reduced by the encoder (Section 4.3.1), entries are evicted from the end of the dynamic table until the size of the dynamic table is less than or equal to the new table capacity. This mechanism can be used to completely clear entries from the dynamic table by setting a capacity of 0, which can subsequently be restored.
To bound the memory requirements of the decoder, the decoder limits the maximum value the encoder is permitted to set for the dynamic table capacity. In HTTP/3, this limit is determined by the value of SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY sent by the decoder; see Section 5. The encoder MUST NOT set a dynamic table capacity that exceeds this maximum, but it can choose to use a lower dynamic table capacity; see Section 4.3.1.
For clients using 0-RTT data in HTTP/3, the server's maximum table capacity is the remembered value of the setting or zero if the value was not previously sent. When the client's 0-RTT value of the SETTING is zero, the server MAY set it to a non-zero value in its SETTINGS frame. If the remembered value is non-zero, the server MUST send the same non-zero value in its SETTINGS frame. If it specifies any other value, or omits SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY from SETTINGS, the encoder must treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECODER_STREAM_ERROR.
For clients not using 0-RTT data (whether 0-RTT is not attempted or is rejected) and for all HTTP/3 servers, the maximum table capacity is 0 until the encoder processes a SETTINGS frame with a non-zero value of SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY.
When the maximum table capacity is zero, the encoder MUST NOT insert entries into the dynamic table and MUST NOT send any encoder instructions on the encoder stream.
Each entry possesses an absolute index that is fixed for the lifetime of that entry. The first entry inserted has an absolute index of 0; indices increase by one with each insertion.
Relative indices begin at zero and increase in the opposite direction from the absolute index. Determining which entry has a relative index of 0 depends on the context of the reference.
In encoder instructions (Section 4.3), a relative index of 0 refers to the most recently inserted value in the dynamic table. Note that this means the entry referenced by a given relative index will change while interpreting instructions on the encoder stream.
+-----+---------------+-------+ | n-1 | ... | d | Absolute Index + - - +---------------+ - - - + | 0 | ... | n-d-1 | Relative Index +-----+---------------+-------+ ^ | | V Insertion Point Dropping Point n = count of entries inserted d = count of entries dropped
Figure 2: Example Dynamic Table Indexing - Encoder Stream
Unlike in encoder instructions, relative indices in field line representations are relative to the Base at the beginning of the encoded field section; see Section 4.5.1. This ensures that references are stable even if encoded field sections and dynamic table updates are processed out of order.
In a field line representation, a relative index of 0 refers to the entry with absolute index equal to Base - 1.
Base | V +-----+-----+-----+-----+-------+ | n-1 | n-2 | n-3 | ... | d | Absolute Index +-----+-----+ - +-----+ - + | 0 | ... | n-d-3 | Relative Index +-----+-----+-------+ n = count of entries inserted d = count of entries dropped In this example, Base = n - 2
Figure 3: Example Dynamic Table Indexing - Relative Index in Representation
Post-Base indices are used in field line representations for entries with absolute indices greater than or equal to Base, starting at 0 for the entry with absolute index equal to Base and increasing in the same direction as the absolute index.
Post-Base indices allow an encoder to process a field section in a single pass and include references to entries added while processing this (or other) field sections.
Base | V +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+ | n-1 | n-2 | n-3 | ... | d | Absolute Index +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+ | 1 | 0 | Post-Base Index +-----+-----+ n = count of entries inserted d = count of entries dropped In this example, Base = n - 2
Figure 4: Example Dynamic Table Indexing - Post-Base Index in Representation
The prefixed integer from Section 5.1 of [RFC7541] is used heavily throughout this document. The format from [RFC7541] is used unmodified. Note, however, that QPACK uses some prefix sizes not actually used in HPACK.
QPACK implementations MUST be able to decode integers up to and including 62 bits long.
HPACK defines string literals to begin on a byte boundary. They begin with a single bit flag, denoted as 'H' in this document (indicating whether the string is Huffman encoded), followed by the string length encoded as a 7-bit prefix integer, and finally the indicated number of bytes of data. When Huffman encoding is enabled, the Huffman table from Appendix B of [RFC7541] is used without modification and the indicated length is the size of the string after encoding.
This document expands the definition of string literals by permitting them to begin other than on a byte boundary. An "N-bit prefix string literal" begins mid-byte, with the first (8-N) bits allocated to a previous field. The string uses one bit for the Huffman flag, followed by the length of the encoded string as a (N-1)-bit prefix integer. The prefix size, N, can have a value between 2 and 8, inclusive. The remainder of the string literal is unmodified.
A string literal without a prefix length noted is an 8-bit prefix string literal and follows the definitions in [RFC7541] without modification.
QPACK defines two unidirectional stream types:
- An encoder stream is a unidirectional stream of type 0x02. It carries an unframed sequence of encoder instructions from encoder to decoder.
- A decoder stream is a unidirectional stream of type 0x03. It carries an unframed sequence of decoder instructions from decoder to encoder.
HTTP/3 endpoints contain a QPACK encoder and decoder. Each endpoint MUST initiate, at most, one encoder stream and, at most, one decoder stream. Receipt of a second instance of either stream type MUST be treated as a connection error of type H3_STREAM_CREATION_ERROR.
The sender MUST NOT close either of these streams, and the receiver MUST NOT request that the sender close either of these streams. Closure of either unidirectional stream type MUST be treated as a connection error of type H3_CLOSED_CRITICAL_STREAM.
An endpoint MAY avoid creating an encoder stream if it will not be used (for example, if its encoder does not wish to use the dynamic table or if the maximum size of the dynamic table permitted by the peer is zero).
An endpoint MAY avoid creating a decoder stream if its decoder sets the maximum capacity of the dynamic table to zero.
An endpoint MUST allow its peer to create an encoder stream and a decoder stream even if the connection's settings prevent their use.
An encoder sends encoder instructions on the encoder stream to set the capacity of the dynamic table and add dynamic table entries. Instructions adding table entries can use existing entries to avoid transmitting redundant information. The name can be transmitted as a reference to an existing entry in the static or the dynamic table or as a string literal. For entries that already exist in the dynamic table, the full entry can also be used by reference, creating a duplicate entry.
An encoder informs the decoder of a change to the dynamic table capacity using an instruction that starts with the '001' 3-bit pattern. This is followed by the new dynamic table capacity represented as an integer with a 5-bit prefix; see Section 4.1.1.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | 1 | Capacity (5+) | +---+---+---+-------------------+
Figure 5: Set Dynamic Table Capacity
The new capacity MUST be lower than or equal to the limit described in Section 3.2.3. In HTTP/3, this limit is the value of the SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY parameter (Section 5) received from the decoder. The decoder MUST treat a new dynamic table capacity value that exceeds this limit as a connection error of type QPACK_ENCODER_STREAM_ERROR.
An encoder adds an entry to the dynamic table where the field name matches the field name of an entry stored in the static or the dynamic table using an instruction that starts with the '1' 1-bit pattern. The second ('T') bit indicates whether the reference is to the static or dynamic table. The 6-bit prefix integer (Section 4.1.1) that follows is used to locate the table entry for the field name. When T=1, the number represents the static table index; when T=0, the number is the relative index of the entry in the dynamic table.
The field name reference is followed by the field value represented as a string literal; see Section 4.1.2.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 1 | T | Name Index (6+) | +---+---+-----------------------+ | H | Value Length (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Value String (Length bytes) | +-------------------------------+
Figure 6: Insert Field Line -- Indexed Name
An encoder adds an entry to the dynamic table where both the field name and the field value are represented as string literals using an instruction that starts with the '01' 2-bit pattern.
This is followed by the name represented as a 6-bit prefix string literal and the value represented as an 8-bit prefix string literal; see Section 4.1.2.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 1 | H | Name Length (5+) | +---+---+---+-------------------+ | Name String (Length bytes) | +---+---------------------------+ | H | Value Length (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Value String (Length bytes) | +-------------------------------+
Figure 7: Insert Field Line -- New Name
An encoder duplicates an existing entry in the dynamic table using an instruction that starts with the '000' 3-bit pattern. This is followed by the relative index of the existing entry represented as an integer with a 5-bit prefix; see Section 4.1.1.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | 0 | Index (5+) | +---+---+---+-------------------+
Figure 8: Duplicate
The existing entry is reinserted into the dynamic table without resending either the name or the value. This is useful to avoid adding a reference to an older entry, which might block inserting new entries.
A decoder sends decoder instructions on the decoder stream to inform the encoder about the processing of field sections and table updates to ensure consistency of the dynamic table.
After processing an encoded field section whose declared Required Insert Count is not zero, the decoder emits a Section Acknowledgment instruction. The instruction starts with the '1' 1-bit pattern, followed by the field section's associated stream ID encoded as a 7-bit prefix integer; see Section 4.1.1.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 1 | Stream ID (7+) | +---+---------------------------+
Figure 9: Section Acknowledgment
If an encoder receives a Section Acknowledgment instruction referring to a stream on which every encoded field section with a non-zero Required Insert Count has already been acknowledged, this MUST be treated as a connection error of type QPACK_DECODER_STREAM_ERROR.
The Section Acknowledgment instruction might increase the Known Received Count; see Section 2.1.4.
When a stream is reset or reading is abandoned, the decoder emits a Stream Cancellation instruction. The instruction starts with the '01' 2-bit pattern, followed by the stream ID of the affected stream encoded as a 6-bit prefix integer.
This instruction is used as described in Section 2.2.2.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 1 | Stream ID (6+) | +---+---+-----------------------+
Figure 10: Stream Cancellation
The Insert Count Increment instruction starts with the '00' 2-bit pattern, followed by the Increment encoded as a 6-bit prefix integer. This instruction increases the Known Received Count (Section 2.1.4) by the value of the Increment parameter. The decoder should send an Increment value that increases the Known Received Count to the total number of dynamic table insertions and duplications processed so far.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | Increment (6+) | +---+---+-----------------------+
Figure 11: Insert Count Increment
An encoder that receives an Increment field equal to zero, or one that increases the Known Received Count beyond what the encoder has sent, MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECODER_STREAM_ERROR.
An encoded field section consists of a prefix and a possibly empty sequence of representations defined in this section. Each representation corresponds to a single field line. These representations reference the static table or the dynamic table in a particular state, but they do not modify that state.
Encoded field sections are carried in frames on streams defined by the enclosing protocol.
Each encoded field section is prefixed with two integers. The Required Insert Count is encoded as an integer with an 8-bit prefix using the encoding described in Section 184.108.40.206. The Base is encoded as a Sign bit ('S') and a Delta Base value with a 7-bit prefix; see Section 220.127.116.11.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | Required Insert Count (8+) | +---+---------------------------+ | S | Delta Base (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Encoded Field Lines ... +-------------------------------+
Figure 12: Encoded Field Section
Required Insert Count identifies the state of the dynamic table needed to process the encoded field section. Blocking decoders use the Required Insert Count to determine when it is safe to process the rest of the field section.
The encoder transforms the Required Insert Count as follows before encoding:
if ReqInsertCount == 0: EncInsertCount = 0 else: EncInsertCount = (ReqInsertCount mod (2 * MaxEntries)) + 1
Here MaxEntries is the maximum number of entries that the dynamic table can have. The smallest entry has empty name and value strings and has the size of 32. Hence, MaxEntries is calculated as:
MaxEntries = floor( MaxTableCapacity / 32 )
MaxTableCapacity is the maximum capacity of the dynamic table as specified by the decoder; see Section 3.2.3.
This encoding limits the length of the prefix on long-lived connections.
The decoder can reconstruct the Required Insert Count using an algorithm such as the following. If the decoder encounters a value of EncodedInsertCount that could not have been produced by a conformant encoder, it MUST treat this as a connection error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED.
TotalNumberOfInserts is the total number of inserts into the decoder's dynamic table.
FullRange = 2 * MaxEntries if EncodedInsertCount == 0: ReqInsertCount = 0 else: if EncodedInsertCount > FullRange: Error MaxValue = TotalNumberOfInserts + MaxEntries # MaxWrapped is the largest possible value of # ReqInsertCount that is 0 mod 2 * MaxEntries MaxWrapped = floor(MaxValue / FullRange) * FullRange ReqInsertCount = MaxWrapped + EncodedInsertCount - 1 # If ReqInsertCount exceeds MaxValue, the Encoder's value # must have wrapped one fewer time if ReqInsertCount > MaxValue: if ReqInsertCount <= FullRange: Error ReqInsertCount -= FullRange # Value of 0 must be encoded as 0. if ReqInsertCount == 0: Error
For example, if the dynamic table is 100 bytes, then the Required Insert Count will be encoded modulo 6. If a decoder has received 10 inserts, then an encoded value of 4 indicates that the Required Insert Count is 9 for the field section.
The Base is used to resolve references in the dynamic table as described in Section 3.2.5.
To save space, the Base is encoded relative to the Required Insert Count using a one-bit Sign ('S' in Figure 12) and the Delta Base value. A Sign bit of 0 indicates that the Base is greater than or equal to the value of the Required Insert Count; the decoder adds the value of Delta Base to the Required Insert Count to determine the value of the Base. A Sign bit of 1 indicates that the Base is less than the Required Insert Count; the decoder subtracts the value of Delta Base from the Required Insert Count and also subtracts one to determine the value of the Base. That is:
if Sign == 0: Base = ReqInsertCount + DeltaBase else: Base = ReqInsertCount - DeltaBase - 1
A single-pass encoder determines the Base before encoding a field section. If the encoder inserted entries in the dynamic table while encoding the field section and is referencing them, Required Insert Count will be greater than the Base, so the encoded difference is negative and the Sign bit is set to 1. If the field section was not encoded using representations that reference the most recent entry in the table and did not insert any new entries, the Base will be greater than the Required Insert Count, so the encoded difference will be positive and the Sign bit is set to 0.
The value of Base MUST NOT be negative. Though the protocol might operate correctly with a negative Base using post-Base indexing, it is unnecessary and inefficient. An endpoint MUST treat a field block with a Sign bit of 1 as invalid if the value of Required Insert Count is less than or equal to the value of Delta Base.
An encoder that produces table updates before encoding a field section might set Base to the value of Required Insert Count. In such a case, both the Sign bit and the Delta Base will be set to zero.
A field section that was encoded without references to the dynamic table can use any value for the Base; setting Delta Base to zero is one of the most efficient encodings.
For example, with a Required Insert Count of 9, a decoder receives a Sign bit of 1 and a Delta Base of 2. This sets the Base to 6 and enables post-Base indexing for three entries. In this example, a relative index of 1 refers to the fifth entry that was added to the table; a post-Base index of 1 refers to the eighth entry.
An indexed field line representation identifies an entry in the static table or an entry in the dynamic table with an absolute index less than the value of the Base.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 1 | T | Index (6+) | +---+---+-----------------------+
Figure 13: Indexed Field Line
This representation starts with the '1' 1-bit pattern, followed by the 'T' bit, indicating whether the reference is into the static or dynamic table. The 6-bit prefix integer (Section 4.1.1) that follows is used to locate the table entry for the field line. When T=1, the number represents the static table index; when T=0, the number is the relative index of the entry in the dynamic table.
An indexed field line with post-Base index representation identifies an entry in the dynamic table with an absolute index greater than or equal to the value of the Base.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | 0 | 1 | Index (4+) | +---+---+---+---+---------------+
Figure 14: Indexed Field Line with Post-Base Index
A literal field line with name reference representation encodes a field line where the field name matches the field name of an entry in the static table or the field name of an entry in the dynamic table with an absolute index less than the value of the Base.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 1 | N | T |Name Index (4+)| +---+---+---+---+---------------+ | H | Value Length (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Value String (Length bytes) | +-------------------------------+
Figure 15: Literal Field Line with Name Reference
This representation starts with the '01' 2-bit pattern. The following bit, 'N', indicates whether an intermediary is permitted to add this field line to the dynamic table on subsequent hops. When the 'N' bit is set, the encoded field line MUST always be encoded with a literal representation. In particular, when a peer sends a field line that it received represented as a literal field line with the 'N' bit set, it MUST use a literal representation to forward this field line. This bit is intended for protecting field values that are not to be put at risk by compressing them; see Section 7.1 for more details.
The fourth ('T') bit indicates whether the reference is to the static or dynamic table. The 4-bit prefix integer (Section 4.1.1) that follows is used to locate the table entry for the field name. When T=1, the number represents the static table index; when T=0, the number is the relative index of the entry in the dynamic table.
Only the field name is taken from the dynamic table entry; the field value is encoded as an 8-bit prefix string literal; see Section 4.1.2.
A literal field line with post-Base name reference representation encodes a field line where the field name matches the field name of a dynamic table entry with an absolute index greater than or equal to the value of the Base.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | N |NameIdx(3+)| +---+---+---+---+---+-----------+ | H | Value Length (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Value String (Length bytes) | +-------------------------------+
Figure 16: Literal Field Line with Post-Base Name Reference
This representation starts with the '0000' 4-bit pattern. The fifth bit is the 'N' bit as described in Section 4.5.4. This is followed by a post-Base index of the dynamic table entry (Section 3.2.6) encoded as an integer with a 3-bit prefix; see Section 4.1.1.
Only the field name is taken from the dynamic table entry; the field value is encoded as an 8-bit prefix string literal; see Section 4.1.2.
The literal field line with literal name representation encodes a field name and a field value as string literals.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 0 | 0 | 1 | N | H |NameLen(3+)| +---+---+---+---+---+-----------+ | Name String (Length bytes) | +---+---------------------------+ | H | Value Length (7+) | +---+---------------------------+ | Value String (Length bytes) | +-------------------------------+
Figure 17: Literal Field Line with Literal Name
QPACK defines two settings for the HTTP/3 SETTINGS frame:
The following error codes are defined for HTTP/3 to indicate failures of QPACK that prevent the stream or connection from continuing:
- QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED (0x0200):
- The decoder failed to interpret an encoded field section and is not able to continue decoding that field section.
- QPACK_ENCODER_STREAM_ERROR (0x0201):
- The decoder failed to interpret an encoder instruction received on the encoder stream.
- QPACK_DECODER_STREAM_ERROR (0x0202):
- The encoder failed to interpret a decoder instruction received on the decoder stream.
This section describes potential areas of security concern with QPACK:
- Use of compression as a length-based oracle for verifying guesses about secrets that are compressed into a shared compression context.
- Denial of service resulting from exhausting processing or memory capacity at a decoder.
QPACK reduces the encoded size of field sections by exploiting the redundancy inherent in protocols like HTTP. The ultimate goal of this is to reduce the amount of data that is required to send HTTP requests or responses.
The compression context used to encode header and trailer fields can be probed by an attacker who can both define fields to be encoded and transmitted and observe the length of those fields once they are encoded. When an attacker can do both, they can adaptively modify requests in order to confirm guesses about the dynamic table state. If a guess is compressed into a shorter length, the attacker can observe the encoded length and infer that the guess was correct.
This is possible even over the Transport Layer Security Protocol ([TLS]) and the QUIC Transport Protocol ([QUIC-TRANSPORT]), because while TLS and QUIC provide confidentiality protection for content, they only provide a limited amount of protection for the length of that content.
Attacks like CRIME ([CRIME]) demonstrated the existence of these general attacker capabilities. The specific attack exploited the fact that DEFLATE ([RFC1951]) removes redundancy based on prefix matching. This permitted the attacker to confirm guesses a character at a time, reducing an exponential-time attack into a linear-time attack.
QPACK mitigates, but does not completely prevent, attacks modeled on CRIME ([CRIME]) by forcing a guess to match an entire field line rather than individual characters. An attacker can only learn whether a guess is correct or not, so the attacker is reduced to a brute-force guess for the field values associated with a given field name.
Therefore, the viability of recovering specific field values depends on the entropy of values. As a result, values with high entropy are unlikely to be recovered successfully. However, values with low entropy remain vulnerable.
Attacks of this nature are possible any time that two mutually distrustful entities control requests or responses that are placed onto a single HTTP/3 connection. If the shared QPACK compressor permits one entity to add entries to the dynamic table, and the other to refer to those entries while encoding chosen field lines, then the attacker (the second entity) can learn the state of the table by observing the length of the encoded output.
For example, requests or responses from mutually distrustful entities can occur when an intermediary either:
- sends requests from multiple clients on a single connection toward an origin server, or
- takes responses from multiple origin servers and places them on a shared connection toward a client.
Web browsers also need to assume that requests made on the same connection by different web origins ([RFC6454]) are made by mutually distrustful entities. Other scenarios involving mutually distrustful entities are also possible.
Users of HTTP that require confidentiality for header or trailer fields can use values with entropy sufficient to make guessing infeasible. However, this is impractical as a general solution because it forces all users of HTTP to take steps to mitigate attacks. It would impose new constraints on how HTTP is used.
Rather than impose constraints on users of HTTP, an implementation of QPACK can instead constrain how compression is applied in order to limit the potential for dynamic table probing.
An ideal solution segregates access to the dynamic table based on the entity that is constructing the message. Field values that are added to the table are attributed to an entity, and only the entity that created a particular value can extract that value.
To improve compression performance of this option, certain entries might be tagged as being public. For example, a web browser might make the values of the Accept-Encoding header field available in all requests.
An encoder without good knowledge of the provenance of field values might instead introduce a penalty for many field lines with the same field name and different values. This penalty could cause a large number of attempts to guess a field value to result in the field not being compared to the dynamic table entries in future messages, effectively preventing further guesses.
This response might be made inversely proportional to the length of the field value. Disabling access to the dynamic table for a given field name might occur for shorter values more quickly or with higher probability than for longer values.
This mitigation is most effective between two endpoints. If messages are re-encoded by an intermediary without knowledge of which entity constructed a given message, the intermediary could inadvertently merge compression contexts that the original encoder had specifically kept separate.
Implementations can also choose to protect sensitive fields by not compressing them and instead encoding their value as literals.
Refusing to insert a field line into the dynamic table is only effective if doing so is avoided on all hops. The never-indexed literal bit (see Section 4.5.4) can be used to signal to intermediaries that a particular value was intentionally sent as a literal.
An intermediary MUST NOT re-encode a value that uses a literal representation with the 'N' bit set with another representation that would index it. If QPACK is used for re-encoding, a literal representation with the 'N' bit set MUST be used. If HPACK is used for re-encoding, the never-indexed literal representation (see Section 6.2.3 of [RFC7541]) MUST be used.
The choice to mark that a field value should never be indexed depends on several factors. Since QPACK does not protect against guessing an entire field value, short or low-entropy values are more readily recovered by an adversary. Therefore, an encoder might choose not to index values with low entropy.
An encoder might also choose not to index values for fields that are considered to be highly valuable or sensitive to recovery, such as the Cookie or Authorization header fields.
On the contrary, an encoder might prefer indexing values for fields that have little or no value if they were exposed. For instance, a User-Agent header field does not commonly vary between requests and is sent to any server. In that case, confirmation that a particular User-Agent value has been used provides little value.
Note that these criteria for deciding to use a never-indexed literal representation will evolve over time as new attacks are discovered.
There is no currently known attack against a static Huffman encoding. A study has shown that using a static Huffman encoding table created an information leakage; however, this same study concluded that an attacker could not take advantage of this information leakage to recover any meaningful amount of information (see [PETAL]).
An attacker can try to cause an endpoint to exhaust its memory. QPACK is designed to limit both the peak and stable amounts of memory allocated by an endpoint.
QPACK uses the definition of the maximum size of the dynamic table and the maximum number of blocking streams to limit the amount of memory the encoder can cause the decoder to consume. In HTTP/3, these values are controlled by the decoder through the settings parameters SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY and SETTINGS_QPACK_BLOCKED_STREAMS, respectively (see Section 3.2.3 and Section 2.1.2). The limit on the size of the dynamic table takes into account the size of the data stored in the dynamic table, plus a small allowance for overhead. The limit on the number of blocked streams is only a proxy for the maximum amount of memory required by the decoder. The actual maximum amount of memory will depend on how much memory the decoder uses to track each blocked stream.
A decoder can limit the amount of state memory used for the dynamic table by setting an appropriate value for the maximum size of the dynamic table. In HTTP/3, this is realized by setting an appropriate value for the SETTINGS_QPACK_MAX_TABLE_CAPACITY parameter. An encoder can limit the amount of state memory it uses by choosing a smaller dynamic table size than the decoder allows and signaling this to the decoder (see Section 4.3.1).
A decoder can limit the amount of state memory used for blocked streams by setting an appropriate value for the maximum number of blocked streams. In HTTP/3, this is realized by setting an appropriate value for the SETTINGS_QPACK_BLOCKED_STREAMS parameter. Streams that risk becoming blocked consume no additional state memory on the encoder.
An encoder allocates memory to track all dynamic table references in unacknowledged field sections. An implementation can directly limit the amount of state memory by only using as many references to the dynamic table as it wishes to track; no signaling to the decoder is required. However, limiting references to the dynamic table will reduce compression effectiveness.
The amount of temporary memory consumed by an encoder or decoder can be limited by processing field lines sequentially. A decoder implementation does not need to retain a complete list of field lines while decoding a field section. An encoder implementation does not need to retain a complete list of field lines while encoding a field section if it is using a single-pass algorithm. Note that it might be necessary for an application to retain a complete list of field lines for other reasons; even if QPACK does not force this to occur, application constraints might make this necessary.
While the negotiated limit on the dynamic table size accounts for much of the memory that can be consumed by a QPACK implementation, data that cannot be immediately sent due to flow control is not affected by this limit. Implementations should limit the size of unsent data, especially on the decoder stream where flexibility to choose what to send is limited. Possible responses to an excess of unsent data might include limiting the ability of the peer to open new streams, reading only from the encoder stream, or closing the connection.
An implementation of QPACK needs to ensure that large values for integers, long encoding for integers, or long string literals do not create security weaknesses.
An implementation has to set a limit for the values it accepts for integers, as well as for the encoded length; see Section 4.1.1. In the same way, it has to set a limit to the length it accepts for string literals; see Section 4.1.2. These limits SHOULD be large enough to process the largest individual field the HTTP implementation can be configured to accept.
If an implementation encounters a value larger than it is able to decode, this MUST be treated as a stream error of type QPACK_DECOMPRESSION_FAILED if on a request stream or a connection error of the appropriate type if on the encoder or decoder stream.
This document makes multiple registrations in the registries defined by [HTTP/3]. The allocations created by this document are all assigned permanent status and list a change controller of the IETF and a contact of the HTTP working group (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This document specifies two settings. The entries in the following table are registered in the "HTTP/3 Settings" registry established in [HTTP/3].
For formatting reasons, the setting names here are abbreviated by removing the 'SETTINGS_' prefix.
This document specifies two stream types. The entries in the following table are registered in the "HTTP/3 Stream Types" registry established in [HTTP/3].
This document specifies three error codes. The entries in the following table are registered in the "HTTP/3 Error Codes" registry established in [HTTP/3].
9.1. Normative References
- Fielding, R., Ed., Nottingham, M., Ed., and J. Reschke, Ed., “HTTP Semantics”, STD 97, RFC 9110, DOI 10.17487/RFC9110, June 2022, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9110>.
- Bishop, M., Ed., “HTTP/3”, RFC 9114, DOI 10.17487/RFC9114, June 2022, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9114>.
- Iyengar, J., Ed. and M. Thomson, Ed., “QUIC: A UDP-Based Multiplexed and Secure Transport”, RFC 9000, DOI 10.17487/RFC9000, May 2021, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9000>.
- Bradner, S., “Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels”, BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.
- Scott, G., “Guide for Internet Standards Writers”, BCP 22, RFC 2360, DOI 10.17487/RFC2360, June 1998, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2360>.
- Peon, R. and H. Ruellan, “HPACK: Header Compression for HTTP/2”, RFC 7541, DOI 10.17487/RFC7541, May 2015, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7541>.
- Leiba, B., “Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words”, BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.
9.2. Informative References
- Wikipedia, “CRIME”, May 2015, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=CRIME&oldid=660948120>.
- Thomson, M., Ed. and C. Benfield, Ed., “HTTP/2”, RFC 9113, DOI 10.17487/RFC9113, June 2022, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9113>.
- Tan, J. and J. Nahata, “PETAL: Preset Encoding Table Information Leakage”, April 2013, <http://www.pdl.cmu.edu/PDL-FTP/associated/CMU-PDL-13-106.pdf>.
- Deutsch, P., “DEFLATE Compressed Data Format Specification version 1.3”, RFC 1951, DOI 10.17487/RFC1951, May 1996, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1951>.
- Barth, A., “The Web Origin Concept”, RFC 6454, DOI 10.17487/RFC6454, December 2011, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6454>.
- Rescorla, E., “The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.3”, RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, August 2018, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8446>.
This table was generated by analyzing actual Internet traffic in 2018 and including the most common header fields, after filtering out some unsupported and non-standard values. Due to this methodology, some of the entries may be inconsistent or appear multiple times with similar but not identical values. The order of the entries is optimized to encode the most common header fields with the smallest number of bytes.
|31||accept-encoding||gzip, deflate, br|
|58||strict-transport-security||max-age=31536000; includesubdomains; preload|
|77||access-control-allow-methods||get, post, options|
|85||content-security-policy||script-src 'none'; object-src 'none'; base-uri 'none'|
Any line breaks that appear within field names or values are due to formatting.
The following examples represent a series of exchanges between an encoder and a decoder. The exchanges are designed to exercise most QPACK instructions and highlight potentially common patterns and their impact on dynamic table state. The encoder sends three encoded field sections containing one field line each, as well as two speculative inserts that are not referenced.
The state of the encoder's dynamic table is shown, along with its current size. Each entry is shown with the Absolute Index of the entry (Abs), the current number of outstanding encoded field sections with references to that entry (Ref), along with the name and value. Entries above the 'acknowledged' line have been acknowledged by the decoder.
The encoder sends an encoded field section containing a literal representation of a field with a static name reference.
Data | Interpretation | Encoder's Dynamic Table Stream: 0 0000 | Required Insert Count = 0, Base = 0 510b 2f69 6e64 6578 | Literal Field Line with Name Reference 2e68 746d 6c | Static Table, Index=1 | (:path=/index.html) Abs Ref Name Value ^-- acknowledged --^ Size=0
The encoder sets the dynamic table capacity, inserts a header with a dynamic name reference, then sends a potentially blocking, encoded field section referencing this new entry. The decoder acknowledges processing the encoded field section, which implicitly acknowledges all dynamic table insertions up to the Required Insert Count.
Stream: Encoder 3fbd01 | Set Dynamic Table Capacity=220 c00f 7777 772e 6578 | Insert With Name Reference 616d 706c 652e 636f | Static Table, Index=0 6d | (:authority=www.example.com) c10c 2f73 616d 706c | Insert With Name Reference 652f 7061 7468 | Static Table, Index=1 | (:path=/sample/path) Abs Ref Name Value ^-- acknowledged --^ 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path Size=106 Stream: 4 0381 | Required Insert Count = 2, Base = 0 10 | Indexed Field Line With Post-Base Index | Absolute Index = Base(0) + Index(0) = 0 | (:authority=www.example.com) 11 | Indexed Field Line With Post-Base Index | Absolute Index = Base(0) + Index(1) = 1 | (:path=/sample/path) Abs Ref Name Value ^-- acknowledged --^ 0 1 :authority www.example.com 1 1 :path /sample/path Size=106 Stream: Decoder 84 | Section Acknowledgment (stream=4) Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path ^-- acknowledged --^ Size=106
The encoder inserts a header into the dynamic table with a literal name. The decoder acknowledges receipt of the entry. The encoder does not send any encoded field sections.
Stream: Encoder 4a63 7573 746f 6d2d | Insert With Literal Name 6b65 790c 6375 7374 | (custom-key=custom-value) 6f6d 2d76 616c 7565 | Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path ^-- acknowledged --^ 2 0 custom-key custom-value Size=160 Stream: Decoder 01 | Insert Count Increment (1) Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path 2 0 custom-key custom-value ^-- acknowledged --^ Size=160
The encoder duplicates an existing entry in the dynamic table, then sends an encoded field section referencing the dynamic table entries including the duplicated entry. The packet containing the encoder stream data is delayed. Before the packet arrives, the decoder cancels the stream and notifies the encoder that the encoded field section was not processed.
Stream: Encoder 02 | Duplicate (Relative Index = 2) | Absolute Index = | Insert Count(3) - Index(2) - 1 = 0 Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path 2 0 custom-key custom-value ^-- acknowledged --^ 3 0 :authority www.example.com Size=217 Stream: 8 0500 | Required Insert Count = 4, Base = 4 80 | Indexed Field Line, Dynamic Table | Absolute Index = Base(4) - Index(0) - 1 = 3 | (:authority=www.example.com) c1 | Indexed Field Line, Static Table Index = 1 | (:path=/) 81 | Indexed Field Line, Dynamic Table | Absolute Index = Base(4) - Index(1) - 1 = 2 | (custom-key=custom-value) Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path 2 1 custom-key custom-value ^-- acknowledged --^ 3 1 :authority www.example.com Size=217 Stream: Decoder 48 | Stream Cancellation (Stream=8) Abs Ref Name Value 0 0 :authority www.example.com 1 0 :path /sample/path 2 0 custom-key custom-value ^-- acknowledged --^ 3 0 :authority www.example.com Size=217
The encoder inserts another header into the dynamic table, which evicts the oldest entry. The encoder does not send any encoded field sections.
Stream: Encoder 810d 6375 7374 6f6d | Insert With Name Reference 2d76 616c 7565 32 | Dynamic Table, Relative Index = 1 | Absolute Index = | Insert Count(4) - Index(1) - 1 = 2 | (custom-key=custom-value2) Abs Ref Name Value 1 0 :path /sample/path 2 0 custom-key custom-value ^-- acknowledged --^ 3 0 :authority www.example.com 4 0 custom-key custom-value2 Size=215
Pseudocode for single-pass encoding, excluding handling of duplicates, non-blocking mode, available encoder stream flow control and reference tracking.
# Helper functions: # ==== # Encode an integer with the specified prefix and length encodeInteger(buffer, prefix, value, prefixLength) # Encode a dynamic table insert instruction with optional static # or dynamic name index (but not both) encodeInsert(buffer, staticNameIndex, dynamicNameIndex, fieldLine) # Encode a static index reference encodeStaticIndexReference(buffer, staticIndex) # Encode a dynamic index reference relative to Base encodeDynamicIndexReference(buffer, dynamicIndex, base) # Encode a literal with an optional static name index encodeLiteral(buffer, staticNameIndex, fieldLine) # Encode a literal with a dynamic name index relative to Base encodeDynamicLiteral(buffer, dynamicNameIndex, base, fieldLine) # Encoding Algorithm # ==== base = dynamicTable.getInsertCount() requiredInsertCount = 0 for line in fieldLines: staticIndex = staticTable.findIndex(line) if staticIndex is not None: encodeStaticIndexReference(streamBuffer, staticIndex) continue dynamicIndex = dynamicTable.findIndex(line) if dynamicIndex is None: # No matching entry. Either insert+index or encode literal staticNameIndex = staticTable.findName(line.name) if staticNameIndex is None: dynamicNameIndex = dynamicTable.findName(line.name) if shouldIndex(line) and dynamicTable.canIndex(line): encodeInsert(encoderBuffer, staticNameIndex, dynamicNameIndex, line) dynamicIndex = dynamicTable.add(line) if dynamicIndex is None: # Could not index it, literal if dynamicNameIndex is not None: # Encode literal with dynamic name, possibly above Base encodeDynamicLiteral(streamBuffer, dynamicNameIndex, base, line) requiredInsertCount = max(requiredInsertCount, dynamicNameIndex) else: # Encodes a literal with a static name or literal name encodeLiteral(streamBuffer, staticNameIndex, line) else: # Dynamic index reference assert(dynamicIndex is not None) requiredInsertCount = max(requiredInsertCount, dynamicIndex) # Encode dynamicIndex, possibly above Base encodeDynamicIndexReference(streamBuffer, dynamicIndex, base) # encode the prefix if requiredInsertCount == 0: encodeInteger(prefixBuffer, 0x00, 0, 8) encodeInteger(prefixBuffer, 0x00, 0, 7) else: wireRIC = ( requiredInsertCount % (2 * getMaxEntries(maxTableCapacity)) ) + 1; encodeInteger(prefixBuffer, 0x00, wireRIC, 8) if base >= requiredInsertCount: encodeInteger(prefixBuffer, 0x00, base - requiredInsertCount, 7) else: encodeInteger(prefixBuffer, 0x80, requiredInsertCount - base - 1, 7) return encoderBuffer, prefixBuffer + streamBuffer
The IETF QUIC Working Group received an enormous amount of support from many people.
The compression design team did substantial work exploring the problem space and influencing the initial draft version of this document. The contributions of design team members Roberto Peon, Martin Thomson, and Dmitri Tikhonov are gratefully acknowledged.
The following people also provided substantial contributions to this document:
奥 一穂 (Kazuho Oku)
This document draws heavily on the text of [RFC7541]. The indirect input of those authors is also gratefully acknowledged.
Buck Krasic's contribution was supported by Google during his employment there.
A portion of Mike Bishop's contribution was supported by Microsoft during his employment there.