Most of you are aware that one of the biggest problems while developing mobile apps / websites, is the reduced bandwidth / connectivity that the user has on his phone compared to traditional devices connected to a solid WiFi or via cable.
How can you actually improve connectivity to the app? There are tricks to improve performances, like transparent redirects.
An heavy stack
The stack on which your web apps will run will be heavy, by definition: HTTP wasn’t built with performances in mind1, and you might want to add SSL, to provide your users with an additional security layer, on top of that.
Now imagine your users requesting
GET /my-page and you serving a redirect:
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Even though, semantically, this is a logic operation, it doesnt work well with the demand of great performances, since the user will need to make nother roundtrip connection to get the new resource
What you can do, instead, is to serve a transparent redirect to the user, so that there is no additional request to be made:
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In this way the client already has all the information it needs in order to show the user the data he requested.
Even better: if you are serving contents from an API you can have your main
application handle the transparent redirect with the
At the moment you will have to be cautious with it, as current browsers (or, at least,
a few of them) treat non
2XX status codes as errors, thing that becomes tricky when you
handle things with JS callbacks / promises:
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I remember banging our heads over our desks here at the Namshi
office, so we decided to use a very simple approach, using custom headers with a
if the response ends up in a redirect, we use 2 custom headers (
intercept the response in our frontends and do our trick with
It would be nice if, one day, the HTTP spec would be able to incorporate this
behavior natively, with a status code like
308 Transparent redirect, so that browser will be able to
automatically update the state of the apps and the user wouldn’t need to wait for another roundtrip
connection to see the data they have been requesting, no matter the location.
- We’re talking about raw performances, scalability is another matter, which is implemented almost flawlessy in the protocol ↩