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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] why NOT add compress feature into apache?
Date Mon, 11 Oct 2004 08:58:39 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> I just wonder why not build compress feature into apache so 
> whenever web browser (like IE) sends request to server, it 
> can compress the right contents based on MIME types with the 
> right suitable compress algorithisms, maybe by default, coz 
> most browsers support uncompress algorithisms which can be 
> embedded into HTTP request header?  This will great benefit 
> both sides (client and server), plus it saves a lot network 
> bandwidth.  I would like to see this feature build into all 
> web server, especially into apache.  Any comments?

Compression is by no means the "great benefit" you seem to think it

1) It is not a free lunch - it imposes a lot of work on the processor in
the client and server. This has to be balanced against any saving in
bandwidth or storage.

2) Much of the content on the web (JPG, GIF, MP3, MPG) is already
compressed and cannot be compressed further. Passing it through another
compression algorithm will put a load on your processor but gain you
nothing in bandwidth.

3) It complicates compilation and installation of the server and client
- each has to support a zoo of compression algorithms and all their
various libraries.

4) As numerous posters have pointed out, mod_deflate is already
available (and has been for years). If you want to use it, go ahead -
but don't imagine it provides unqualified benefits for everyone and
certainly don't suggest it should be on by *default*!

Compression for a webservice is an optional extra to be used in the few
cases where it can be really useful. For example, a site serving large
ascii-text files (e-books, DNA sequences etc.) could probably benefit
from compression but for most image-based sites, it's a waste of time
and effort.

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

> regards,
> Larry
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