[Mediawiki-l] "zlib output compression" vs Apache's mod_deflate

Tomasz Chmielewski mangoo at wpkg.org
Wed Oct 4 16:06:06 UTC 2006

I noticed that MediaWiki enables PHP's zlib output compression, so that 
all pages served by MediaWiki are delivered compressed (if the client's 
browser supports it):

         ## Compress output if the browser supports it
         # if( !ini_get( 'zlib.output_compression' ) ) @ob_start( 
'ob_gzhandler' );

This has a side effect that in Apache's log, the compression ratio is 
not shown (at least in Apache 2.2.3 / PHP 5.1.6):

"GET /wiki/index.php/Test2 HTTP/1.1" -/- (-%)

When we disable zlib output compression in MediaWiki, the content is 
compressed by Apache, and the ratio is shown:

"GET /wiki/index.php/Test2 HTTP/1.1" 2509/8500 (29%)

What are the advantages of using PHP's zlib compression in MediaWiki?
I like having the ratio in the logs so I'm keen to disable it - but 
maybe there's something I'm not aware of?

Tomasz Chmielewski

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