I had to ask if he wanted the technically correct answer or the one I bet he (the google recruiter) was given by his engineers. Sadly his google engineers had given him the wrong answer.
- 3 seems to be the obvious answer.
- 1 for keep alive stuff but even with a single connection, there are multiple requests. Also, nobody said the images were on the same server.
- Did I have these images on cache? Maybe 1 then.
- 4 with favicon request (now we are nitpicking)
- Hey maybe each resource is behind 5 http redirects.. So 15 would be correct I guess?
- Base64 encoded images are fun too.
They really have a "set in stone correct answer" and do not discuss these with people?
(I think that's all still true. Browsers move fast.)
This front-end doc  from Google with a similar example counts a sample page with (1) html, (2) one external css file, and (3) one external image as "a minimum of 2 roundtrips":
> As a result, this page incurs a minimum of two roundtrips before it can be displayed. Once again, the CSS file may take multiple roundtrips, hence the emphasis on "minimum".
: Analyzing Critical Rendering Path Performance https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/c...
I wonder if there is a single "correct" answer.
Don't really understand why either 1 or 3 would be incorrect answers. But then again... I don't work at Google.
Every modern browser I know of automatically tries to fetch favicon.ico.
If I'm using lynx, its 1... 1 request.