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ESUG17: HTTP/2 in the Cincom Smalltalk™ SiouX Server

Posted on in Categories ESUG, Events
  • Title:  HTTP/2 in the Cincom Smalltalk™ SiouX Server
  • When: Wednesday, September 6, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Name: Jerry Kott
  • Type: Talk


In this presentation, Jerry Kott, Senior Software Engineer with Cincom Systems, Inc., will discuss technical aspects of the newly added support for HTTP/2 in the SiouX HTTP server.

SiouX is a general-purpose web server that uses both HTTP and HTTPS protocols and Net/Xtreams. This framework provides a secure, efficient and extensible server with HTTP services that are in sync with the current HTTP standards

Some of the topics covered in this talk will include

  • How to configure a SiouX Server to handle HTTP/2 requests. A brief overview of the HTTP protocol upgrade mechanism and the API to enable processing of HTTP/2 requests by Sioux.
  • High-level design overview. Describe differences between multiple request/response pairs over multiple connections in HTTP/1.1 and stream multiplexing over a single connection in HTTP/2.
  • Security considerations – Although HTTP/2 can be used over a plaintext connection, all browser vendors announced that they will only implement the secure version using TLSv1.2 as the transport protocol. This has significant consequences for web server operators as it requires certificate management and a minimum required set of supported cipher suites. Jerry will present a summary of those requirements and show a full secure web server configuration with certificate files and HTTP/2 support.
  • A demo of an AppeX application using combined HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2 resources, showing a comparison between the two protocols’ relative performance.


Jerry Kott, who has been with Cincom Systems, Inc. for nine years, is a valuable member of the Protocols team responsible for network protocols, security and web application development components of the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation. With Cincom® ObjectStudio® and Cincom® VisualWorks® both built on the same foundation, this engineering group is responsible for critical improvements that enhance both products. Specifically, Jerry brings a vast knowledge of network protocols and security to this team, which is instrumental in enhancing those components in Cincom Smalltalk

Prior to joining Cincom, Jerry worked as a Smalltalk consultant in a variety of industries including finance, insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing and entertainment. Throughout his career, Jerry has used most of the Smalltalk dialects. He first met Smalltalk/V in his native Czechoslovakia in 1988 while writing his Masters theses at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University of Prague. The political upheaval of 1988/1989 led Jerry to leave Czechoslovakia, and after a year in Austria, his family settled in Canada. While working as a programmer analyst at the TD Bank in Toronto, he was reintroduced to Smalltalk in 1993—this time with the intent of staying with it for good.

Jerry’s recollection of his falling in love with Smalltalk can be summed up like this

  1. Day one: This is weird; no source code file?
  2. Day two: This is interesting; I can inspect live objects and send messages to them!
  3. Day three: This is great! I never want to use any other language!

Jerry and his wife also recently got 450 programmers to “bite” on Cincom Smalltalk at BattleSnake 2017 where they came in second place with their Medusa algorithm.  BattleSnake 2017 is a programming competition that was recently held in Victoria, BC, where teams of students and developers build web-based AIs for the classic arcade game “Snake.” While many platforms were used in developing these algorithms by other competitors, Jerry and his wife built their impressive algorithm using Cincom Smalltalk

When not programming in Smalltalk, Jerry uses his passion for photography and film by helping independent filmmakers as a cinematographer. He occasionally dabbles as an associate producer and assistant director. Jerry is also a member of Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, a volunteer emergency response team that services the rugged western coastline of Vancouver Island off the West Coast of Canada. He recently started practicing with his dog Cindy to be accepted to the training program of British Columbia Search Dog Association. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia