OT: How to tell an HTTP client to limit parallel connections?

Grant Edwards invalid at invalid.invalid
Fri Nov 8 18:25:30 CET 2013

Yes, this off-topic, but after a fair amount of Googling and searching
in the "right" places, I'm running out of ideas.

I've got a very feeble web server.  The crypto handshaking involved in
opening an https: connection takes 2-3 seconds.  That would be fine if
a browser opened a single connection and then sent a series of
requests on that connection to load the various elements on a page.

But that's not what browsers do.  They all seem to open whole handful
of connections (often as many as 8-10) and try to load all the page's
elements in parallel.  That turns what would be a 3-4 second page load
time (using a single connection) into a 20-30 second page load time.
Even with plaintext http: connections, the multi-connection page load
time is slower than the single-connection load time, but not by as
large a factor.

Some browsers have user-preference settings that limit the max number
of simultaneous connections to a single server (IIRC the RFCs suggest
a max of 4, but most browsers seem to default to a max of 8-16).

What I really need is an HTTP header or meta-tag or something that I
can use to tell clients to limit themselves to a single connection.

I haven't been able to find such a thing, but I'm hoping I've
overlooked something...

Grant Edwards               grant.b.edwards        Yow! INSIDE, I have the
                                  at               same personality disorder
                              gmail.com            as LUCY RICARDO!!

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