What is gzipping?

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What is gzipping?

‘Gzipping’ is the term used when one is compressing or decompressing a particular file.  This application was developed by the GNU Project which explains the “G” in “gzip.”  Files that are gzipped literally mean that they are compressed and result in a smaller file size.  And since gzipping was developed by the GNU Project, some people also refer to it as ‘GNU zip.’

Files that are gzipped typically contain a header that can carry up to 10 bytes.  The file header also contains the time stamp and several identification numbers.  Gzipping also involves added features like using the filename as an optional extra file header.  Every file also has its own body which is compatible with the DEFLATE method.  The footer of the file may contain eight bytes and provides a checksum and an indicator on how long the original uncompressed file is.

Gzipping is considered very beneficial when it comes to optimizing Websites.  Websites will be able to load faster by means of gzipping and/or file compression.  With compressed files, bandwidth requirements will be reduced resulting in faster page loading.  Standard HTML codes are considered long and redundant, and by simply gzipping, it would mean faster loading and browsing to the delight of the end-user.  People just need to make some configurations on the browser to help it handle gzipped data and content.

Gzipping works similarly with the more popular zip file format, but it offers better compression which results in even smaller files.  A zip file, for example, is able to compress similar files and archive it to make a smaller file.  A gzip file format, on the other hand, will archive all similar files into one compressed file resulting in an even smaller file.  Gzipping is mostly used on the UNIX platform while zip file formats are the standard compression and archiving software for Windows systems.

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