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From "Joshua Slive" <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] mod_deflate questions
Date Wed, 23 Aug 2006 18:50:14 GMT
On 8/23/06, Chris Price <cprice@its.to> wrote:
>
>
>         Hey all;
>
>         I have some questions about mod_deflate;
>
>         Specifically, in my 8 years of using apache, I had never heard of it
> until a few weeks ago. Google shows plenty of howto implement and man
> page sites, but few 'mod_deflate is soo good it saved my marriage' type
> of testimonials. Given the significant savings in bandwidth that *seem*
> to go with mod_deflate I am wondering why I have never heard of it - it
> seems too good to be true.
>
>         Would someone please be so kind as to post a broef summary of strengths
> and weaknesses of mod_deflate? Browser incompatibility, issues with
> nat/proxies, etc... My spidey sense is telling me that something isnt
> quite right here...

Plenty of people use mod_deflate (and the older mod_gzip), so there
isn't any big catch.  It does indeed significantly reduce bandwidth
usage and sometimes latency.

There are some disadvantages:
- Browser incompatibilities.  The mod_deflate docs give instructions
on how to work-around the most common ones.

- Increased processor usage.  But many webservers are not processor constrained.

- Pages become less cacheable since you need to vary on at least
accept-encoding, and frequently user-agent as well.

- You can't use zero-copy techniques (liek the sendfile syscall ) to
send files, which increases the load on the server.

- For many sites, the majority of content is already-compressed stuff
like images, which won't be helped by mod_deflate.

Joshua.

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