Gzip now all pages at BookMooch

April 24, 2007

Gzip-Icon-SmallI reported last week that I was experimenting with a page-compression technique, to make BookMooch pages load faster. I was testing it out on only some pages at that time, to make sure it worked right. However, most of the big pages didn’t do it.

I’ve now turned gzip compression on every page at BookMooch. The speed increase is most significant on large pages, such as my history with details on, which is 496k of html “the old way”, and now transfer as just 27k of gzipped data. So, the new way needs to transfer far less data over the internet to your computer, in this case only 6% as much as previously, resulting in a super-huge speedup on large html pages.

If you “show details” on search results, it used to be a bit slow, but now what was 100k for just 10 books of details on the search results, is 11k with this new compression technique.

Pretty neat…

Part of the testing period was also to figure out if BookMooch “did the right thing” with people with firewalls, old web browsers or proxy servers that don’t like gzip. One person replied having problems last week with what I had, but said that my fixes a few days later worked for her.

If you have any problems reading BookMooch pages now (ie, some sort of browser error) do drop a comment on this blog.

2 Responses to “Gzip now all pages at BookMooch”

  1. Ben Sudano said

    I’ve been having a lot of problems with viewing BookMooch pages for the last few days, and I suspect it may be because of the gzip compression (and so does your tech person Mikko Saari, who pointed me to this page).

    In Firefox 2.0.0.3, I get a blank page when I try to view almost any page other than my Member Home (Pending and Wishlist for example). In IE 7, I get “Internet Explorer cannot display this webpage.”

    I’ve tried updating and reinstalling my software, but I’m still having no luck.

    Is there any way for me to fix this problem, or to get around using the compression?

  2. I followed up with Ben via private email, and he found that the problem was his “Cyberhawk Security System” software, and that when he removed that software, the new BookMooch pages worked just fine.

    So far, his was the only complaint about BookMooch not working correctly after the gzip change.

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