Phoronix: Google Unveils "Zopfli" Compression Algorithm
Google has announced Zopfli, a new general purpose data compression library that's open-source. Zopfli implements the Deflate compression algorithm that yields a smaller output size than previous techniques...
I'm curious: it's the same algorithm...so can zlib decompressors handle it?
Originally Posted by http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/02/compress-data-more-densely-with-zopfli.html
The output generated by Zopfli is typically 3–8% smaller compared to zlib at maximum compression, and we believe that Zopfli represents the state of the art in Deflate-compatible compression. Zopfli is written in C for portability. It is a compression-only library; existing software can decompress the data. Zopfli is bit-stream compatible with compression used in gzip, Zip, PNG, HTTP requests, and others.
Theres a mistake in the article. Its not 2-3x slower, its 10-100x slower.
All the same it looks cool The great thing about it is that its an implementation of deflate so the existing clients can decompress it just the same, it just shaves an additional 3-8% off serving any static content where you can devote the server resources to it.
For sure, a more modern algorithm such as sported by 7zip or bzip2 or a myriad of others are better choices where you can dictate the client can decode it, but for mobile especially, a low complexity decoder that does better than stock zlib is great.
Is this improvement really even worth a Google engineer's time?
Well, from what I read this was done on the 20% of work time a Google developer is allowed to spend on whatever they want. And yes I can see that if you serve alot of compressed (as in deflate, which is the compression algorithm all browsers support) static content you'd likely be happy to shave of 3-8% of your bandwidth by compressing said content with zopfli.
No, it's not going to cause a revolution on the web, it will simply allow certain content to decrease bandwidth use, as such it is a nice tool.