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19. Content > As Good As It Gets

As Good As It Gets

Let’s imagine the fastest possible web page. The page would be at most the size of the largest single packet that could make it from server to client without fragmentation, perhaps 1,500 bytes. We could compress the page with gzip if necessary, maybe getting a 2,500-byte page to fit into that 1,500-byte packet. Then let’s imagine that we use T/TCP on both ends so that there is only one request packet and one reply packet rather than the usual “three-way handshake.” Assuming a 15-millisecond cross-country travel time (near the speed of light), the beginning of that page could be delivered to the client in about 30 milliseconds, with the end of the page following in a time proportional to the connection bit-rate (also confusingly called speed). That’s about one-third of one-tenth of a second. That’s as good as it’s ever going to get. All redirections, frames, images, applets, etc., bring performance down from there.


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