Google-brotli-algorithm

Short Bytes: Brotli is new open source data compression library developed by Google. Its lossless compress algorithm manages to outperform the current compression algorithms in use, namely, gzip, deflate, etc. Although it arrived in 2015, many famous web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera has brought support for Brotli only since the last year.

Nowadays, the web pages aren’t limited to a few hundred kilobytes. We can find them filled with graphics-rich content – enabled HTML, CSS, Javascript – that’s visually appealing to our eyes. However, all of this comes at the cost of size. They can go up to a few megabytes in size. It increases the page load time on the web browser and also adds to the data bill.

Over the years, different compression techniques have been devised to reduce the data footprint of the websites. Named after the Spanish bun, Brotli (RFC 7932), an open source compression library, is an addition in the category of data compression algorithms used on the internet. According to Google, they have created a “whole new data format” capable of shrink and unshrinking data better than others.

Brotli is based on a combination of LZ77 algorithm, Huffman coding, and second-order context modeling. In comparison to the already popular gzip, Brotli’s lossless compression algorithm is capable of achieving additional compression of around 20%. It also outperforms its predecessor Zopfli by around 25%.

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Developed by Google engineers Jyrki Alakuijala and Zoltán Szabadka, Brotli first came into existence in the year 2015. Initially, web fonts compression was the prime objective. Later, the open source library was enhanced for HTTP compression. Now, it’s mainly about HTTPS.

Brotli includes a speed advantage in the form of a pre-defined dictionary of words and phrases from various languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, etc.

In the recent months, there has been an increase in the adoption of Brotli in different web browsers and servers. For example, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and servers Apache, ngix, etc. Apple Safari is yet to include the Brotli open source compression library.

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