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Improvements to Compression Module

Today we are going to look at improvements to the Compression Module for DotNetNuke 4.5. These were confirmed using DNN 4.5 RC2.

Let's start with a little history. Early versions of DotNetNuke had no provisions for page compression. There were options, such as the Blowery HttpCompressionModule, but they generally required the user to modify the default installation of DNN. In addition to modifying the application, you also had to manually exclude paths and mime types. If you wanted to upgrade your site, you had to modify the web.config to remove the compression. If you did not, hold on it is gonna be a long night.

Starting with version 4.4 of DotNetNuke, compression was implemented in the core. This was a nice feature for many people, but for just as many it was a source of problems. Most problems were found to revolve around the fact that the user had to exclude mime types and paths via the compression.config. This could often lead to a trial and error process that would quickly sour the user experience as well as increase the number of problems an implementor had to deal with. After a thorough review of the problem, it was decided that Default.aspx was the only page that needed to be compressed. Enter DNN 4.5.

Starting in version 4.5, the compression module will only compress the default.aspx page. The end user will no longer have to set-up excluded paths or mime types. You can still exclude paths via the Host Settings -> Compression Settings -> Excluded Paths field. The proper format for this would be TabId=xx, where xx equals the actual number of the TabId. This feature is there in case there is a page (tab) that is giving you problems do to compression. So if I create a page named AlecTest, TabId 357, that has a module on it that is giving me trouble do to the compression, I can then exclude it by adding tabid=357 to the Exclude Paths field.

Overall, I think the improvements are going to eliminate a large number of problems that users were seeing with HTTP compression in DotNetNuke. Under a default installation, the default home page was returning 44k in text. After turning on compression, that shrunk down to 17k. This is a significant savings of bandwidth over many requests.


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