The web has grown not just in size but importance over the intervening time period. Developers have had to work around a number of limitations, especially in speed of page delivery. Why did it take so long to bring out a new version?
My take is that, whatever the performance issues around HTTP in our massively online world, it worked to an acceptable level. Changing such a crucial and entrenched standard is not something you do lightly. Also, I notice that HTTP/2 doesn't replace existing APIs, but adds features to them. The new version of the standard retains the core functionality so existing investments are not wiped out.
It's a great sign of HTTP's strength – and its core simplicity – that the world has been able to rely on HTTP 1.1 for so long. The grace with which the standard has been advanced to the new version is a tribute to a reasoned, collaborative standards setting process. TNW