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Re: fixhrefgz - tool for converting anchors to gzipped files

On Sat, 28 Jun 1997, Christoph Lameter wrote:

> On Sat, 28 Jun 1997, Christian Schwarz wrote:
> >
> >Hi!
> >
> >Christoph, please tell us why using "fixhrefgz" on "html.gz" files does
> >not work with our web servers.
> Please read the other posts.

Please answer my questions! I haven't found an answer elsewhere.

> >As far as I have understood, these web servers are so intelligent that if
> >a file "foo.html" is referenced, but only "foo.html.gz" is found, they
> >uncompress the file on-the-fly and pass the decompressed version to the
> >web browser.
> Exactly. So there is no problem when using web-servers.
> >However, as you surely know, this does not work without web server, since
> >the browsers are not looking for "foo.html.gz" if "foo.html" is
> >referenced.
> Yes. But if you change the references then the web-serverws will no longer
> do on the fly decompression. They will serve the links as .gz which is not
> universally supported by web-browsers not under Debians control.

But most of the web browser can easily be fixed. Since "boa" is really
very small and already supports on-the-fly decompression, we can include
it even in the base system so everyone out there his it installed. It can
be started on another port than 80, I think, so it doesn't conflict with
other web servers.

> >Thus, we are considering changing the "href's" to "foo.html.gz" and fix
> >the browsers, where possible, to uncompress the file on-the-fly. If the
> >browser cannot be fixed (for example, if we don't have the source code) we
> >could probably offer a simple web server (e.g. boa) to do this
> >automatically.
> Please think about this.
> You are proposing that a web-server is supposed to be searching through
> the .html code it serves and replace all links referring to .html.gz by
> .html links?

No. The links are adopted from ".html" to ".html.gz" where necessary by
the _maintainer_ when the ".deb" is created. We have a Perl tool to do
this. (I posted it here, yesterday.)

> >But why can't "boa" be extended to uncompress "foo.html.gz" on-the-fly
> >when _this_ file is requested, just as "foo.html" would have been
> >requested and that file does not exist?
> It can certainly do this but the links are the problem!!!!
> It will still serve the .html file (now uncompressed) containing .html.gz
> links which are not understood by web-servers outside of the Debian realm.

Why? The files are called ".html.gz" in the file system. Thus, these links
are valid. We only have to implement on-the-fly decompression on some web
servers. (This functionality could be useful for others, too, so we could
forward our patches to the upstream maintainers of the web servers as

Christoph, I take your objection seriously, I don't want to include
"technical nonsense" in our policy manual. So please explain to us what
difficulties you see.



--                  Christian Schwarz
                   schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com
                  schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
                PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
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