In the spirit of saving bits I set up mod_gzip on my Apache 1.3 server. Now HTTP stuff is compressed in transit. Fetching my weblog went from 20384 bytes to 9717 bytes; even better, it went from 38 packets to 21 packets. This may seem silly but on an ADSL line upstream bandwidth is hugely limited; anything I can do to save bandwidth is welcome.

Usability on mod_gzip is fairly low. Original site is offline, docs are awful. Fortunately someone has taken on the task of making a decent support site. Even then the details of how it works are magic and opaque; honestly, this kind of server configuration should be much easier or automatic. Maybe it is in Apache 2.0.

Here's the magic I'm using:

LoadModule gzip_module /usr/lib/apache/1.3/
<IfModule mod_gzip.c>
mod_gzip_on yes
mod_gzip_dechunk yes
mod_gzip_item_exclude reqheader "User-agent: Mozilla/4.0[678]"
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime text/
  2003-02-16 20:55 Z