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From j.@pa.dec.com (Jim Gettys)
Subject Re: HTTP Compression in Mozilla
Date Fri, 18 Sep 1998 20:28:44 GMT

> Sender: new-httpd-owner@apache.org
> From: Marc Slemko <marcs@znep.com>
> Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 13:18:49 -0700 (PDT)
> To: new-httpd@apache.org
> Subject: Re: HTTP Compression in Mozilla
> -----
> On Fri, 18 Sep 1998, Ben Laurie wrote:
> 
> > Jeremie Miller wrote:
> > >
> > > I don't know if this has been pointed out yet, but I remember there being
> > > some discussion about this awhile back, so some of you might find it
> > > interesting:
> > >
> > > http://www.mozilla.org/projects/apache/gzip/
> > >
> > > Excerpt from page:
> > >
> > > "This project aims to improve real and perceived web browsing performance
> > > by having the server send compressed HTML files to the browser, and having
> > > the browser uncompress before displaying. Assuming fast enough processors
> > > on most machines these days, the user should end up seeing the document
> > > sooner this way than sending uncompressed HTML. Also, since a majority of
> > > network traffic these days is HTTP traffic, compressing all HTML sent via
> > > HTTP should recover a significant amount of wasted network bandwidth. "
> >
> > But, but... Netscape 4 already does this!
> 
> On Unix.

And I think the implementation may have been in NS4 UNIX by forking a 
piped process and running zcat on the file, rather than internal using 
zlib; this is non-trivial overhead....

Zlib makes this pretty easy to implement in a client; Henrik implemented
transfer encoding in an afternoon in libwww.

Note that I'm not claiming that a server implementation, except one that 
was so stupid as to do the compression every time a document was asked 
for, would be so simple for Apache right now; I had sympathy for Roy's 
arguments against implementing transfer coding right now, even if I didn't 
agree with him.  In Jigsaw, the implementation was also very easy, but
it already has an object cache on disk, and therefore finds it easy
to do the compression when a document is changed and save the result.

				- Jim


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