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From Paul Ausbeck <>
Subject Re: Compression via content negotiation
Date Wed, 02 Dec 1998 01:32:06 GMT
On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Dean Gaudet Wrote:

> Why is this a problem?  Didn't we just add the "default-handler" or
> something?  Just name the file foo.html.def rather than foo.html, and add
> a "AddHandler default .def" (check the code I may have this wrong).
> There's no need to add more code.  This way you also get the advantage of
> having some semblance of speed for those files for which there is zero
> negotiation possible (i.e. foo.jpg,, yeehaw.mp3, whatever).

I need a request for an ambiguous url, say "index", to negotiate between
index.html and index.html.gz. That way I can publish a single url and
use a single link on other pages and get a compressed file transferred
if the client can handle it and uncompressed otherwise. I believe the
AddHandler code would only come into play if an explicit request for
index.html.gz was received. If I am wrong please let me know, as I am
completely lost.

> I didn't see either of you mention TE.  And I haven't seen Roy pipe up
> yet... last time this came up on the mozilla group the only conclusion
> that I saw which was obvious is that with just RFC2049 you cannot do
> transparent compression.  You need the draft update to HTTP/1.1 and the TE
> header.  Accept-Encoding is just broken when you consider bugs in existing
> clients.  Or something along those lines.  (And I'm also about 8 months
> out of date on this, so I could be wrong.)
> Dean

I don't know what TE is. I have examined several of the commercially
important browsers and I do not believe the the proposed change to
mod_negotiation would break anything. All versions of IE 4.0 will handle
both gzip and deflate compression and indicate as such with
Accept-Encoding headers. I'm not sure, but I don't think that IE3 or
lower add any Accept-Encoding headers. I have tested Navigator 4.04 and
it doesn't add headers or handle compression and I am pretty sure that
older versions do not add any headers either. I have tested Navigator
v4.5 and it both adds headers and handles compression. I have heard from
Adam Costello that Navigator 4.07 also has compression, so it was added
somewhere around there.

Both major browsers have had compression for quite some time and also do
the right thing with Accept-Encoding headers. It seems to me that it is
very important to support this in apache.

I'm not sure how rfc2049 comes into play on this. I believe that the
proposed changes are compliant with rfc2068. I have also sent Paul
Sutton another suggested hack to handle vary headers properly (at least
for Accept-Encoding).

Paul Ausbeck

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