Increasing Filesize & Compression Ratio

Tom Worthington
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 08:19:04 +1000

At 10:49 AM 15/10/96 -0700, Colin Richardson wrote:

>The trend towards larger Internet application filesizes is being offset 
>by the countervailing trend towards higher compression ratios...
>Beyond compression?...

Lossey compression throws away some (hopefully) unimportant data. An
alternative is to not send less important data until, or unless, it is needed.

Two examples:

1. Progressive image display: It would be possible to modify web browsers so
they would display interlaced GIFs and progressive JPEGs at less than full
resolution. The user could request more resolution for particular images, if
required. Currently they can only choose no images or full resolution.

2. Very large amounts of information can be represented on screen as compact
diagrams. Interesting work on this visualization of data was done at Xerox
PARC. This was intended to improve understanding of the information, but a
byproduct is that most of the data is not actually displayed unless the user
asks for it, thus greatly reducing data transmission requirements.

Diagrams might also help navigation around large Web sites, reducing the
need for as much browsing. Imagine the results of a web search represented
as different sized labeled coloured blobs connected by different thickness

Tom Worthington <> President, Australian Computer
Society, GPO Box 446, Canberra ACT 2601,
Fax: +61 6 2496419
CFP: INTERACT97, Sydney, 14-18 July