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Blocking a HTTP request for streaming

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HTTP is a superior protocol for one particular reason: It bypasses firewalls.

It has one major drawback though, it requires a request from a client before a server can send a reply. I.e. the server cannot initiate the data transfer. For gaming purposes this means seriously inefficient polling...

I had this idea though, what if the server didn't close the return stream, but kept it open. Wouldn't that provide an open path to the client? Or would some higher level system service make it timeout?

From a performance perspective, it is not worse than keeping an open socket connection (because that's essentially what it is)!

Have anyone had any experience in this area?


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