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From "Paul Joseph Davis (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Commented: (COUCHDB-583) storing attachments in compressed form and serving them in compressed form if accepted by the client
Date Tue, 22 Dec 2009 12:02:29 GMT


Paul Joseph Davis commented on COUCHDB-583:


> Note that using non chunked compressed body responses requires
> storing all the compressed blocks in memory and then sending each
> one to the client. This is a necessary "evil", as we only know the length
> of the compressed body after compressing all the body, and we need
> to set the "Content-Length" header for non chunked responses.

You can't buffer attachments in RAM. That's just a no-no.

Going back to the RFC, I don't really see a good place where it's spelled out what to do about
Content-Encoding headers and their correspondence with Content-Length. I'm fairly certain
you've got this backwards though. The Content-Length needs to be the number of bytes of gzip
data used to represent the message body. Content-Length is used to delineate messages, so
having them mismatched would be bad.

Though, this does mean that you'll need to store the number of bytes before and after compression
when you stream the attachment to disk.

Also, the compression algorithm must be specified by the Accept-Encoding header, not a URL

The "treshold_for_chunking_comp_responses" is a bit of a weird threshold. You might want to
change that to something like "min_compression_length" and just have it say "files shorter
than this will not be compressed". And then leave the claims on chunked vs. not to the HTTP
content negotiation algorithms.

I'll be out of town for the next couple weeks so forgive me if my responses are a tad slow.

> storing attachments in compressed form and serving them in compressed form if accepted
by the client
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: COUCHDB-583
>                 URL:
>             Project: CouchDB
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: Database Core, HTTP Interface
>         Environment: CouchDB trunk
>            Reporter: Filipe Manana
>         Attachments: couchdb-583-trunk-3rd-try.patch, couchdb-583-trunk-4th-try-trunk.patch,
couchdb-583-trunk-5th-try.patch, couchdb-583-trunk-6th-try.patch, jira-couchdb-583-1st-try-trunk.patch,
> This feature allows Couch to gzip compress attachments as they are being received and
store them in compressed form.
> When a client asks for downloading an attachment (e.g. GET somedb/somedoc/attachment.txt),
the attachment is sent in compressed form if the client's http request has gzip specified
as a valid transfer encoding for the response (using the http header "Accept-Encoding"). Otherwise
couch decompresses the attachment before sending it back to the client.
> Attachments are compressed only if their MIME type matches one of those listed in a separate
config file. Compression level is also configurable in the default.ini file.
> This follows Damien's suggestion from 30 November:
> "Perhaps we need a separate user editable ini file to specify compressable or non-compressable
files (would probably be too big for the regular ini file). What do other web servers do?
> Also, a potential optimization is to compress the file while writing to disk, and serve
the compressed bytes directly to clients that can handle it, and decompressed for those that
can't. For compressable types, it's a win for both disk IO for reads and writes, and CPU on
> Patch attached.

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