Increasing Filesize & Compression Ratio

Rachel Polanskis rachel@juno.virago.org.au
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 19:21:58 +1000 (EST)


Colin Richardson writes:
> The trend towards larger Internet application filesizes is being offset 
> by the countervailing trend towards higher compression ratios (eg 
> Shockwave for Audio claims to have reached 176:1).  The first trend seems 
> to be driven by users' desire for richer content and the second by the 
> need to economize bandwidth.

This is indeed a problem especially for Universities who now are bereft
of the subsidy provided by AARNET, and the volume charging arrangements
made by Telstra when the Unis passed control of AARNET over to them.

> To kick off the project with text formats (standardized to one 
> single-spaced A4 page), would someone please let me have these two pieces 
> of information on each of the .TXT, .HTM, .RTF, and .PDF file formats?  
> Or recommend a specialist Newsgroup/Listserver I might join?

comp.mail.mime is one, where you can at least get a starting point,
as the Internet comprises much more than WWW traffic don't forget.

Also, telnet, ftp, network gaming, IRC are all consumers of Net.traffic.

We counted 40+MB of data transferred in simple WebChat connections, in 10
hours.  Imagine the data transferred combined in innumerable telnet
sessions, IRC forums, Net.Phone etc. 

>Why not send the wombat's tiny genome instead?  
Proxy caching a` la Squid is a close example of this.
A properly setup Cache can reduce file traffic for http/gopher/text/ and 
other MIME formats by up to 40% - more if the users are properly educated 
to use the proxy via their WWW clients.

Imagine how many "Netscape Now!" buttons point to "home.netscape.com"?
I have seen many misconfigured setups where the homepage default 
also points unnecessarily to Netscape.
This could basically be OK, since it is the most cached page in the world!

However, Netscape's Aussie site should be redirecting those requests 
automatically to itself, so those netscape binaries come from a local 
source more often than not (I know the link at Netscape points back to 
Adelaide, but it's not enough...)

Support mirroring and proxy caching wherever you can!

Unfortunately, Protocols such as Telnet, IRC, mail (of course) and 
network games that are interactive cannot be cached.
USENET news is a good conserver of resources however...

Finally,
I squirm quite a lot when I see certain users at our Uni send binaries of 
400-500kb to discussion lists, or to 20 or 30 people, via email.

The mail protocol was not meant for this kind of abuse.
It would be far simpler for these users to upload to FTP sites or mail 
the URL for example - but you can't teach `em!

Everyone wants the net.access, but doesn't wish to learn how to use it
correctly...

My motto is: 
Learn to manage your own hard disk.
Then you will have learnt to manage your slice of the net.

Hopefully this item will not be seen as a rant - but as a little 
pointer to a growing problem that is being addressed a bit by Colin...

rachel

-- 
Rachel Polanskis                 Kingswood, Greater Western Sydney, Australia 
grove@zeta.org.au                http://www.zeta.org.au/~grove/grove.html
r.polanskis@nepean.uws.edu.au    http://www.nepean.uws.edu.au/library/
                Witty comment revoked due to funding cuts