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Re: GZip level restriction

From: Larry Jones
Subject: Re: GZip level restriction
Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 16:51:25 -0400 (EDT)

Derek Price writes:
> I discussed adding a compression level restriction on the server as a
> work-around for another bug that has since been fixed a few months back.

I don't think hard restrictions are a good idea.  The "best" compression
level depends on the total system: the server machine, the client
machine, and the communication path between them.  The server doesn't
know enough about the whole system to impose absolute restrictions.  If
I'm at the other end of a 300bps phone line, I want -z9 no matter how
much CPU time it takes.  If I'm trying to debug the connection, I want
-z0 even if the server is at the other end of a 300bps phone line. 
Since the client is most likely to have an intelligent operator behind
it who *can* determine the properties of the entire system, I think the
server should always try to provide what the client asks for.

On the other hand, it would be nice if there were a way to specify a
default compression level or range of levels (both for the server and
the client) that could be used in the absence of any explicit
specification by the user.  Of course, reconciling conflicting defaults
could be an interesting challenge.

-Larry Jones

Philistines. -- Calvin

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