If you want to attract and retain users in the booming mobile services market, you need a quick-loading app that won’t churn through their data plans. The key is to compress multimedia and other data into smaller files, but finding the right method is tricky. This witty book helps you understand how data compression algorithms work—in theory and practice—so you can choose the best solution among all the available compression tools.
With tables, diagrams, games, and as little math as possible, authors Colt McAnlis and Aleks Haecky neatly explain the fundamentals. Learn how compressed files are better, cheaper, and faster to distribute and consume, and how they’ll give you a competitive edge.
Learn why compression has become crucial as data production continues to skyrocket
Know your data, circumstances, and algorithm options when choosing compression tools
Colt McAnlis is a Developer Advocate at Google focusing on Games, compression, and Performance; Before that, he was a graphics programmer in the games industry working at Blizzard, Microsoft (Ensemble), and Petroglyph. He’s been an Adjunct Professor at SMU Guildhall, a UDACITY instructor (twice), and a Book Author. Recently, he’s been teaching Android Devs the Zen of Performance. When he's not working with developers, Colt spends his time preparing for an invasion of giant ants from outer space. He’s also got a whole plethora of publications,videos and other things accounting for over 600,000 views.
Aleks Haecky is a Developer Advocate, Training Developer, and Writer at Google with a passion for bridging the language gap between experts and their audience. He has worked behind the scenes of Performance, Udacity, the Google Developer Channel, and documentation. In a previous life he translated herpetological books and taught kayaking. Needless to say, he's also working on the next Great American Novel and lurks on LinkedIn.
The animal on the cover of Understanding Compression is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus).
This armadillo is indigenous to Brazil, as its name suggests. They live primarily in open savannahs and dry woodlands, preferring habitats with tall, woody grasses, scattered bushes, and gnarled trees. They are generally nocturnal, but have been known to forage during the day. They eat mainly ants and termites, which they find while shuffling along with their nose to the ground; they can smell prey through 20 cm of soil. Three-banded armadillos are great diggers, but they prefer to rest under bushes rather than in burrows. They do not rely on digging burrows for defense either, but instead roll into a ball and lock their armor. It is one of two species of armadillo that can roll into a ball.
Armadillos are usually solitary animals, but the three-banded armadillo occasionally travels in small families of up to three members. Mating season is October to January, with a brief courtship before mating. The gestation period lasts 120 days, resulting in a single, blind offspring. Newborn armadillo armor is soft, but its claws are fully developed and it can walk and roll into a ball within hours of birth. The Brazilian three-banded armadillo has undergone a 30% decrease in population in the last decade. Its only natural predators are adult pumas and jaguars, but its main threat is the destruction of its habitat to make room for livestock.
Many of the animals on O'Reilly covers are endangered; all of them are important to the world. To learn more about how you can help, go to animals.oreilly.com.
The cover image is from Beeton's Dictionary. The cover fonts are URW Typewriter and Guardian Sans. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag's Ubuntu Mono.
Very nice quick read on a variety of topics in understanding compression. This book works really well if you combine it with Colt's youtube channel "compressor head" to give you clearer understandings of many algorithms and tricks in compression. For some topics, I would of liked a deeper dive into it such as "Discrete Cosine Transforms" but it seems as those are for another book.
Great read overall!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
I found this book quite annoying due to its constant and pointless harping on "math is hard". Could the authors please cut that out in the final version? And the "we can beat the theorem" attitude rather than focusing on the assumptions would be more productive.
There is a lot of useful information in it, but I haven't entirely finished it, so I won't comment further.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend