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Re: LYNX-DEV Re: Accept-Encoding: gzip, compress (getting off-topic)

From: Hynek Med
Subject: Re: LYNX-DEV Re: Accept-Encoding: gzip, compress (getting off-topic)
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 13:35:28 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 22 Mar 1997, Klaus Weide wrote:

> You seem to have some misunderstanding about what Apache does or does not
> do, and probably need to read the docs more carefully.  As far as I
> understand Apache doesn't encode anything on the fly (except maybe with
> some special modules which could do that, or using CGI etc.).
> "AddEncoding" is just about what response headers to send when
> encountering files with certain filename suffixes.
> If you make Apache send a file which isn't really gzipped with a
> "Content-Encoding: gzip" header - no surprise that Lynx cannot gunzip it.

Thanks for the explanation, Klaus. 

> Thre you have your answer to your first question - as far as Lynx is
> concerned, it can treat text/html documents that are "gzip"-encoded right
> when given the correct information.

Then - do you think it's a good idea to use gzip/compress compresssion and
Content-encoding header in output of cgi-scripts (provided the browser
sent propper Accept-Encoding header)?  I haven't seen any browser other
than lynx sending Accept-Encoding headers, and even Netscape for Unix
understands gzipped documents as good as lynx.. I think of this mainly for
our "nationalization" cgi scripts recoding the diacritics. I would make
the load on the machines a bit higher, but it would save some bandwidth..

Of course, there would be a problem with systems where gzip is missing or
where the path to compress/gzip isn't correct - perhaps lynx should check
if gzip/compreses executables exist in the places it expects - surely
during the autoconfigure, and maybe even after starting lynx - if gzip is
missing, lynx shouldn't send that it accepts gzip-encoded documents.. (And
it often happens when someone picks a pre-compiled lynx for, say, HP-UX,
gzip is likely to be on the machine lynx was compiled but may be missing
on the machine it's run.. Even on my Linux at home gzip was in /bin but
lynx thought it to be in /usr/bin..)

> What does it do by default if you don't use any "AddEncoding" or 
> "AddType" directives?  I assume that Apache comes with its own mime.types
> file, are you using that?

I'll answer that in a personal mail - we're really getting of topic here..


Hynek Med, address@hidden

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