Mad props to Om Malik for surfacing the above article in his very-well researched piece on Safari, Tiger, RSS and the Bandwidth Bottleneck.
I also think we need to bring Accept-Encoding: gzip / Content-Encoding: gzip back to the foreground. Back when Netscape 4.x was too pervasive, there were a few issues that made many of us shy away from leveraging gzip:
- Unreliable client-support: I remember issues where Netscape would crash upon receiving a .css or .js file over gzip
- gzip adds CPU load on busy servers handling many requests per second. In those days of slower CPUs, it was often best to offload this work on dedicated hardware/proxies, or not do it. Today CPUs are fast.
Google.com serves its pages over gzip, provided you send it a user-agent of a decent web browser.