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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HTTP Compression: With Safari, Compress Just Text

As I've outline in another post I've been configuring a couple of internal Apache HTTP Server to use HTTP 1.1 response compression. Since these web server act as a front-end proxy to a good number of web applications deployed in distinct application server, that was the good place to centralize such a configuration without having to modify every server, one by one.

To my surprise, after applying the new configuration, I discovered that it wasn't working correctly with Safari (4.0.5). Every browser I could text (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera) in a bunch of different operating systems (Solaris, GNU/Linux, Windows) were working correctly. Safari did not and the problem manifested as random blank pages, missing images on page, incorrect CSSs and so on.

I fiddled a while with the Apache configuration and at the end the only working solution was adding the following sad line to httpd.conf:

BrowserMatch Safari gzip-only-text/html

So sad.

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