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DEVELOPMENT TIP: Optimizing Web Servers for Wireless
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 24.03.03 - 18:57:36 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 6021x
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My fellow MVP and friend  Chris De Herrera from CEWindows.Net has written a great article about using GZIP for web sites which could reduce the transmitted data up to 50 %! This is even more interesting if you access web sites wireless through GPRS as it can save you a lot of money.

Also for the re-modified PPCW.Net, which I introduced last week, I'm using GZIP now which might looks for you as the site needs longer to load but isn't true at all. GZIP compress the page on the server and the page is decompressed in your browser after you received it. Therefore you don't see downloading single elements of the page but getting the whole page at the same time.

So you’ve got a website and you are interested in providing content for wireless devices? Did you know that HTML can be compressed before it is sent to a Pocket PC, Handheld PC or Tablet PC?

Well you website can be faster for free! Microsoft has implemented the HTML 1.1 protocol including support for gzip and deflate formats in the Pocket PC 2000 and 2002, Handheld PC 2000 and desktop web browsers like Internet Explorer 4 or later. Other web browsers like Netscape Navigator 4 or later and Lynx 2.6 or later also support HTML compression. The Pocket PC and Handheld PC web browsers reports "ACCEPT_ENCODING: gzip, deflate" as does most modern browsers. So if you implement HTML compression, your website HTML will be compressed approximately 50% or more! Now that's a difference that a wireless user will recognize in the reduced cost and time of their GPRS, 1xRTT or dialup connection.

So by turning on HTML compression your website will serve up both compressed and uncompressed web pages as well as HTML 1.0 and 1.1 protocol web pages depending on what the web browser supports. This means that you do not have to worry about implementing compression on your web server and having users not be able to view your website like users of older Handheld PCs or Palm-size PCs.

If you are also running a web site you might give this article a read. The downside of using GZIP is that it increase the CPU usage of your web server so the decision to use GZIP or not is a balancing one.

Cheers ~ Arne

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