tech-invite   World Map     

IETF     RFCs     Groups     SIP     ABNFs    |    3GPP     Specs     Gloss.     Arch.     IMS     UICC    |    Misc.    |    search     info

RFC 7932

Pages: 128
Top     in Index     Prev     Next
in Group Index     Prev in Group     No Next: Highest Number in Group     Group: ~format

Brotli Compressed Data Format

Part 1 of 6, p. 1 to 21
None       Next Section


Top       ToC       Page 1 
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                     J. Alakuijala
Request for Comments: 7932                                   Z. Szabadka
Category: Informational                                     Google, Inc.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                July 2016

                     Brotli Compressed Data Format


   This specification defines a lossless compressed data format that
   compresses data using a combination of the LZ77 algorithm and Huffman
   coding, with efficiency comparable to the best currently available
   general-purpose compression methods.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It has been approved for publication by the Internet
   Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents approved by the
   IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section
   2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Top       Page 2 
Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Purpose ....................................................3
      1.2. Intended Audience ..........................................3
      1.3. Scope ......................................................4
      1.4. Compliance .................................................4
      1.5. Definitions of Terms and Conventions Used ..................4
           1.5.1. Packing into Bytes ..................................5
   2. Compressed Representation Overview ..............................6
   3. Compressed Representation of Prefix Codes ......................10
      3.1. Introduction to Prefix Coding .............................10
      3.2. Use of Prefix Coding in the Brotli Format .................11
      3.3. Alphabet Sizes ............................................13
      3.4. Simple Prefix Codes .......................................14
      3.5. Complex Prefix Codes ......................................15
   4. Encoding of Distances ..........................................17
   5. Encoding of Literal Insertion Lengths and Copy Lengths .........19
   6. Encoding of Block-Switch Commands ..............................22
   7. Context Modeling ...............................................23
      7.1. Context Modes and Context ID Lookup for Literals ..........23
      7.2. Context ID for Distances ..................................26
      7.3. Encoding of the Context Map ...............................26
   8. Static Dictionary ..............................................28
   9. Compressed Data Format .........................................31
      9.1. Format of the Stream Header ...............................31
      9.2. Format of the Meta-Block Header ...........................32
      9.3. Format of the Meta-Block Data .............................35
   10. Decoding Algorithm ............................................36
   11. Considerations for Compressor Implementations .................38
      11.1. Trivial Compressor .......................................39
      11.2. Aligning Compressed Meta-Blocks to Byte Boundaries .......39
      11.3. Creating Self-Contained Parts within the
            Compressed Data ..........................................40
   12. Security Considerations .......................................41
   13. IANA Considerations ...........................................42
   14. Informative References ........................................43
   Appendix A. Static Dictionary Data ................................44
   Appendix B. List of Word Transformations .........................124
   Appendix C. Computing CRC-32 Check Values ........................127
   Appendix D. Source Code ..........................................127
   Acknowledgments ..................................................127
   Authors' Addresses ...............................................128

Top      ToC       Page 3 
1.  Introduction

1.1.  Purpose

   The purpose of this specification is to define a lossless compressed
   data format that:

      *  is independent of CPU type, operating system, file system, and
         character set; hence, it can be used for interchange.

      *  can be produced or consumed, even for an arbitrarily long,
         sequentially presented input data stream, using only an a
         priori bounded amount of intermediate storage; hence, it can be
         used in data communications or similar structures, such as Unix

      *  compresses data with a compression ratio comparable to the best
         currently available general-purpose compression methods, in
         particular, considerably better than the gzip program.

      *  decompresses much faster than current LZMA implementations.

   The data format defined by this specification does not attempt to:

      *  allow random access to compressed data.

      *  compress specialized data (e.g., raster graphics) as densely as
         the best currently available specialized algorithms.

   This document is the authoritative specification of the brotli
   compressed data format.  It defines the set of valid brotli
   compressed data streams and a decoder algorithm that produces the
   uncompressed data stream from a valid brotli compressed data stream.

1.2.  Intended Audience

   This specification is intended for use by software implementers to
   compress data into and/or decompress data from the brotli format.

   The text of the specification assumes a basic background in
   programming at the level of bits and other primitive data
   representations.  Familiarity with the technique of Huffman coding is
   helpful but not required.

Top      ToC       Page 4 
   This specification uses (heavily) the notations and terminology
   introduced in the DEFLATE format specification [RFC1951].  For the
   sake of completeness, we always include the whole text of the
   relevant parts of RFC 1951; therefore, familiarity with the DEFLATE
   format is helpful but not required.

   The compressed data format defined in this specification is an
   integral part of the WOFF File Format 2.0 [WOFF2]; therefore, this
   specification is also intended for implementers of WOFF 2.0
   compressors and decompressors.

1.3.  Scope

   This document specifies a method for representing a sequence of bytes
   as a (usually shorter) sequence of bits and a method for packing the
   latter bit sequence into bytes.

1.4.  Compliance

   Unless otherwise indicated below, a compliant decompressor must be
   able to accept and decompress any data set that conforms to all the
   specifications presented here.  A compliant compressor must produce
   data sets that conform to all the specifications presented here.

1.5.  Definitions of Terms and Conventions Used

   Byte: 8 bits stored or transmitted as a unit (same as an octet).  For
   this specification, a byte is exactly 8 bits, even on machines that
   store a character on a number of bits different from eight.  See
   below for the numbering of bits within a byte.

   String: a sequence of arbitrary bytes.

   Bytes stored within a computer do not have a "bit order", since they
   are always treated as a unit.  However, a byte considered as an
   integer between 0 and 255 does have a most and least significant bit
   (lsb), and since we write numbers with the most significant digit on
   the left, we also write bytes with the most significant bit (msb) on
   the left.  In the diagrams below, we number the bits of a byte so
   that bit 0 is the least significant bit, i.e., the bits are numbered:


Top      ToC       Page 5 
   Within a computer, a number may occupy multiple bytes.  All multi-
   byte numbers in the format described here are stored with the least
   significant byte first (at the lower memory address).  For example,
   the decimal number 520 is stored as:

      0        1
      ^        ^
      |        |
      |        + more significant byte = 2 * 256
      + less significant byte = 8

1.5.1.  Packing into Bytes

   This document does not address the issue of the order in which bits
   of a byte are transmitted on a bit-sequential medium, since the final
   data format described here is byte rather than bit oriented.
   However, we describe the compressed block format below as a sequence
   of data elements of various bit lengths, not a sequence of bytes.
   Therefore, we must specify how to pack these data elements into bytes
   to form the final compressed byte sequence:

      *  Data elements are packed into bytes in order of increasing bit
         number within the byte, i.e., starting with the least
         significant bit of the byte.

      *  Data elements other than prefix codes are packed starting with
         the least significant bit of the data element.  These are
         referred to here as "integer values" and are considered

      *  Prefix codes are packed starting with the most significant bit
         of the code.

   In other words, if one were to print out the compressed data as a
   sequence of bytes, starting with the first byte at the *right* margin
   and proceeding to the *left*, with the most significant bit of each
   byte on the left as usual, one would be able to parse the result from
   right to left, with fixed-width elements in the correct msb-to-lsb
   order and prefix codes in bit-reversed order (i.e., with the first
   bit of the code in the relative lsb position).

   As an example, consider packing the following data elements into a
   sequence of 3 bytes: 3-bit integer value 6, 4-bit integer value 2,
   prefix code 110, prefix code 10, 12-bit integer value 3628.

Top      ToC       Page 6 
        byte 2   byte 1   byte 0
       ^            ^ ^   ^   ^
       |            | |   |   |
       |            | |   |   +------ integer value 6
       |            | |   +---------- integer value 2
       |            | +-------------- prefix code 110
       |            +---------------- prefix code 10
       +----------------------------- integer value 3628

2.  Compressed Representation Overview

   A compressed data set consists of a header and a series of meta-
   blocks.  Each meta-block decompresses to a sequence of 0 to
   16,777,216 (16 MiB) uncompressed bytes.  The final uncompressed data
   is the concatenation of the uncompressed sequences from each meta-

   The header contains the size of the sliding window that was used
   during compression.  The decompressor must retain at least that
   amount of uncompressed data prior to the current position in the
   stream, in order to be able to decompress what follows.  The sliding
   window size is a power of two, minus 16, where the power is in the
   range of 10 to 24.  The possible sliding window sizes range from 1
   KiB - 16 B to 16 MiB - 16 B.

   Each meta-block is compressed using a combination of the LZ77
   algorithm (Lempel-Ziv 1977, [LZ77]) and Huffman coding.  The result
   of Huffman coding is referred to here as a "prefix code".  The prefix
   codes for each meta-block are independent of those for previous or
   subsequent meta-blocks; the LZ77 algorithm may use a reference to a
   duplicated string occurring in a previous meta-block, up to the
   sliding window size of uncompressed bytes before.  In addition, in
   the brotli format, a string reference may instead refer to a static
   dictionary entry.

   Each meta-block consists of two parts: a meta-block header that
   describes the representation of the compressed data part and a
   compressed data part.  The compressed data consists of a series of
   commands.  Each command consists of two parts: a sequence of literal
   bytes (of strings that have not been detected as duplicated within
   the sliding window) and a pointer to a duplicated string, which is
   represented as a pair <length, backward distance>.  There can be zero
   literal bytes in the command.  The minimum length of the string to be

Top      ToC       Page 7 
   duplicated is two, but the last command in the meta-block is
   permitted to have only literals and no pointer to a string to

   Each command in the compressed data is represented using three
   categories of prefix codes:

      1) One set of prefix codes are for the literal sequence lengths
         (also referred to as literal insertion lengths) and backward
         copy lengths.  That is, a single code word represents two
         lengths: one of the literal sequence and one of the backward

      2) One set of prefix codes are for literals.

      3) One set of prefix codes are for distances.

   The prefix code descriptions for each meta-block appear in a compact
   form just before the compressed data in the meta-block header.  The
   insert-and-copy length and distance prefix codes may be followed by
   extra bits that are added to the base values determined by the codes.
   The number of extra bits is determined by the code.

   One meta-block command then appears as a sequence of prefix codes:

      Insert-and-copy length, literal, literal, ..., literal, distance

   where the insert-and-copy length defines an insertion length and a
   copy length.  The insertion length determines the number of literals
   that immediately follow.  The distance defines how far back to go for
   the copy and the copy length determines the number of bytes to copy.
   The resulting uncompressed data is the sequence of bytes:

      literal, literal, ..., literal, copy, copy, ..., copy

   where the number of literal bytes and copy bytes are determined by
   the insert-and-copy length code.  (The number of bytes copied for a
   static dictionary entry can vary from the copy length.)

   The last command in the meta-block may end with the last literal if
   the total uncompressed length of the meta-block has been satisfied.
   In that case, there is no distance in the last command, and the copy
   length is ignored.

   There can be more than one prefix code for each category, where the
   prefix code to use for the next element of that category is
   determined by the context of the compressed stream that precedes that
   element.  Part of that context is three current block types, one for

Top      ToC       Page 8 
   each category.  A block type is in the range of 0..255.  For each
   category there is a count of how many elements of that category
   remain to be decoded using the current block type.  Once that count
   is expended, a new block type and block count is read from the stream
   immediately preceding the next element of that category, which will
   use the new block type.

   The insert-and-copy block type directly determines which prefix code
   to use for the next insert-and-copy length.  For the literal and
   distance elements, the respective block type is used in combination
   with other context information to determine which prefix code to use
   for the next element.

   Consider the following example:

      (IaC0, L0, L1, L2, D0)(IaC1, D1)(IaC2, L3, L4, D2)(IaC3, L5, D3)

   The meta-block here has four commands, contained in parentheses for
   clarity, where each of the three categories of symbols within these
   commands can be interpreted using different block types.  Here we
   separate out each category as its own sequence to show an example of
   block types assigned to those elements.  Each square-bracketed group
   is a block that uses the same block type:

      [IaC0, IaC1][IaC2, IaC3]  <-- insert-and-copy: block types 0 and 1

      [L0, L1][L2, L3, L4][L5]  <-- literals: block types 0, 1, and 0

      [D0][D1, D2, D3]          <-- distances: block types 0 and 1

   The subsequent blocks within each block category must have different
   block types, but we see that block types can be reused later in the
   meta-block.  The block types are numbered from 0 to the maximum block
   type number of 255, and the first block of each block category is
   type 0.  The block structure of a meta-block is represented by the
   sequence of block-switch commands for each block category, where a
   block-switch command is a pair <block type, block count>.  The block-
   switch commands are represented in the compressed data before the
   start of each new block using a prefix code for block types and a
   separate prefix code for block counts for each block category.  For
   the above example, the physical layout of the meta-block is then:

      IaC0 L0 L1 LBlockSwitch(1, 3) L2 D0 IaC1 DBlockSwitch(1, 3) D1
      IaCBlockSwitch(1, 2) IaC2 L3 L4 D2 IaC3 LBlockSwitch(0, 1) L5 D3

   where xBlockSwitch(t, n) switches to block type t for a count of n
   elements.  In this example, note that DBlockSwitch(1, 3) immediately
   precedes the next required distance, D1.  It does not follow the last

Top      ToC       Page 9 
   distance of the previous block, D0.  Whenever an element of a
   category is needed, and the block count for that category has reached
   zero, then a new block type and count are read from the stream just
   before reading that next element.

   The block-switch commands for the first blocks of each category are
   not part of the meta-block compressed data.  Instead, the first block
   type is defined to be 0, and the first block count for each category
   is encoded in the meta-block header.  The prefix codes for the block
   types and counts, a total of six prefix codes over the three
   categories, are defined in a compact form in the meta-block header.

   Each category of value (insert-and-copy lengths, literals, and
   distances) can be encoded with any prefix code from a collection of
   prefix codes belonging to the same category appearing in the meta-
   block header.  The particular prefix code used can depend on two
   factors: the block type of the block the value appears in and the
   context of the value.  In the case of the literals, the context is
   the previous two bytes in the uncompressed data; and in the case of
   distances, the context is the copy length from the same command.  For
   insert-and-copy lengths, no context is used and the prefix code
   depends only on the block type.  In the case of literals and
   distances, the context is mapped to a context ID in the range 0..63
   for literals and 0..3 for distances.  The matrix of the prefix code
   indexes for each block type and context ID, called the context map,
   is encoded in a compact form in the meta-block header.

   For example, the prefix code to use to decode L2 depends on the block
   type (1), and the literal context ID determined by the two
   uncompressed bytes that were decoded from L0 and L1.  Similarly, the
   prefix code to use to decode D0 depends on the block type (0) and the
   distance context ID determined by the copy length decoded from IaC0.
   The prefix code to use to decode IaC3 depends only on the block type

   In addition to the parts listed above (prefix code for insert-and-
   copy lengths, literals, distances, block types, block counts, and the
   context map), the meta-block header contains the number of
   uncompressed bytes coded in the meta-block and two additional
   parameters used in the representation of match distances: the number
   of postfix bits and the number of direct distance codes.

   A compressed meta-block may be marked in the header as the last meta-
   block, which terminates the compressed stream.

   A meta-block may, instead, simply store the uncompressed data
   directly as bytes on byte boundaries with no coding or matching
   strings.  In this case, the meta-block header information only

Top      ToC       Page 10 
   contains the number of uncompressed bytes and the indication that the
   meta-block is uncompressed.  An uncompressed meta-block cannot be the
   last meta-block.

   A meta-block may also be empty, which generates no uncompressed data
   at all.  An empty meta-block may contain metadata information as
   bytes starting on byte boundaries, which are not part of either the
   sliding window or the uncompressed data.  Thus, these metadata bytes
   cannot be used to create matching strings in subsequent meta-blocks
   and are not used as context bytes for literals.

3.  Compressed Representation of Prefix Codes

3.1.  Introduction to Prefix Coding

   Prefix coding represents symbols from an a priori known alphabet by
   bit sequences (codes), one code for each symbol, in a manner such
   that different symbols may be represented by bit sequences of
   different lengths, but a parser can always parse an encoded string
   unambiguously symbol-by-symbol.

   We define a prefix code in terms of a binary tree in which the two
   edges descending from each non-leaf node are labeled 0 and 1, and in
   which the leaf nodes correspond one-for-one with (are labeled with)
   the symbols of the alphabet.  The code for a symbol is the sequence
   of 0's and 1's on the edges leading from the root to the leaf labeled
   with that symbol.  For example:

               /\              Symbol    Code
              0  1             ------    ----
             /    \                A     00
            /\     B               B     1
           0  1                    C     011
          /    \                   D     010
         A     /\
              0  1
             /    \
            D      C

   A parser can decode the next symbol from the compressed stream by
   walking down the tree from the root, at each step choosing the edge
   corresponding to the next compressed data bit.

   Given an alphabet with known symbol frequencies, the Huffman
   algorithm allows the construction of an optimal prefix code (one that
   represents strings with those symbol frequencies using the fewest

Top      ToC       Page 11 
   bits of any possible prefix codes for that alphabet).  Such a prefix
   code is called a Huffman code.  (See [HUFFMAN] for additional
   information on Huffman codes.)

   In the brotli format, note that the prefix codes for the various
   alphabets must not exceed certain maximum code lengths.  This
   constraint complicates the algorithm for computing code lengths from
   symbol frequencies.  Again, see [HUFFMAN] for details.

3.2.  Use of Prefix Coding in the Brotli Format

   The prefix codes used for each alphabet in the brotli format are
   canonical prefix codes, which have two additional rules:

      *  All codes of a given bit length have lexicographically
         consecutive values, in the same order as the symbols they

      *  Shorter codes lexicographically precede longer codes.

   We could recode the example above to follow this rule as follows,
   assuming that the order of the alphabet is ABCD:

      Symbol  Code
      ------  ----
      A       10
      B       0
      C       110
      D       111

   That is, 0 precedes 10, which precedes 11x, and 110 and 111 are
   lexicographically consecutive.

   Given this rule, we can define the canonical prefix code for an
   alphabet just by giving the bit lengths of the codes for each symbol
   of the alphabet in order; this is sufficient to determine the actual
   codes.  In our example, the code is completely defined by the
   sequence of bit lengths (2, 1, 3, 3).  The following algorithm
   generates the codes as integers, intended to be read from most to
   least significant bit.  The code lengths are initially in
   tree[I].Len; the codes are produced in tree[I].Code.

      1) Count the number of codes for each code length.  Let
         bl_count[N] be the number of codes of length N, N >= 1.

Top      ToC       Page 12 
      2) Find the numerical value of the smallest code for each code

            code = 0;
            bl_count[0] = 0;
            for (bits = 1; bits <= MAX_BITS; bits++) {
               code = (code + bl_count[bits-1]) << 1;
               next_code[bits] = code;

      3) Assign numerical values to all codes, using consecutive values
         for all codes of the same length with the base values
         determined at step 2.  Codes that are never used (which have a
         bit length of zero) must not be assigned a value.

            for (n = 0; n <= max_code; n++) {
               len = tree[n].Len;
               if (len != 0) {
                  tree[n].Code = next_code[len];


   Consider the alphabet ABCDEFGH, with bit lengths (3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2,
   4, 4).  After step 1, we have:

      N      bl_count[N]
      -      -----------
      2      1
      3      5
      4      2

   Step 2 computes the following next_code values:

      N      next_code[N]
      -      ------------
      1      0
      2      0
      3      2
      4      14

Top      ToC       Page 13 
   Step 3 produces the following code values:

      Symbol Length   Code
      ------ ------   ----
      A       3       010
      B       3       011
      C       3       100
      D       3       101
      E       3       110
      F       2       00
      G       4       1110
      H       4       1111

3.3.  Alphabet Sizes

   Prefix codes are used for different purposes in the brotli format,
   and each purpose has a different alphabet size.  For literal codes,
   the alphabet size is 256.  For insert-and-copy length codes, the
   alphabet size is 704.  For block count codes, the alphabet size is
   26.  For distance codes, block type codes, and the prefix codes used
   in compressing the context map, the alphabet size is dynamic and is
   based on parameters defined in later sections.  The following table
   summarizes the alphabet sizes for the various prefix codes and the
   sections of this document in which they are defined.

      | Prefix Code     | Alphabet Size           | Definition |
      | literal         | 256                     |            |
      | distance        | 16 + NDIRECT +          | Section 4  |
      |                 | (48 << NPOSTFIX)        |            |
      | insert-and-copy | 704                     | Section 5  |
      | length          |                         |            |
      | block count     | 26                      | Section 6  |
      | block type      | NBLTYPESx + 2,          | Section 6  |
      |                 | (where x is I, L, or D) |            |
      | context map     | NTREESx + RLEMAXx       | Section 7  |
      |                 | (where x is L or D)     |            |

Top      ToC       Page 14 
3.4.  Simple Prefix Codes

   The first two bits of the compressed representation of each prefix
   code distinguish between simple and complex prefix codes.  If this
   value is 1, then a simple prefix code follows as described in this
   section.  Otherwise, a complex prefix code follows as described in
   Section 3.5.

   A simple prefix code can have up to four symbols with non-zero code
   length.  The format of the simple prefix code is as follows:

      2 bits: value of 1 indicates a simple prefix code
      2 bits: NSYM - 1, where NSYM = number of symbols coded

      NSYM symbols, each encoded using ALPHABET_BITS bits

      1 bit:  tree-select, present only for NSYM = 4

   The value of ALPHABET_BITS depends on the alphabet of the prefix
   code: it is the smallest number of bits that can represent all
   symbols in the alphabet.  For example, for the alphabet of literal
   bytes, ALPHABET_BITS is 8.  The value of each of the NSYM symbols
   above is the value of the ALPHABET_BITS width integer value.  If the
   integer value is greater than or equal to the alphabet size, or the
   value is identical to a previous value, then the stream should be
   rejected as invalid.

   Note that the NSYM symbols may not be presented in sorted order.
   Prefix codes of the same bit length must be assigned to the symbols
   in sorted order.

   The (non-zero) code lengths of the symbols can be reconstructed as

      *  if NSYM = 1, the code length for the one symbol is zero -- when
         encoding this symbol in the compressed data stream using this
         prefix code, no actual bits are emitted.  Similarly, when
         decoding a symbol using this prefix code, no bits are read and
         the one symbol is returned.

      *  if NSYM = 2, both symbols have code length 1.

      *  if NSYM = 3, the code lengths for the symbols are 1, 2, 2 in
         the order they appear in the representation of the simple
         prefix code.

Top      ToC       Page 15 
      *  if NSYM = 4, the code lengths (in order of symbols decoded)
         depend on the tree-select bit: 2, 2, 2, 2 (tree-select bit 0),
         or 1, 2, 3, 3 (tree-select bit 1).

3.5.  Complex Prefix Codes

   A complex prefix code is a canonical prefix code, defined by the
   sequence of code lengths, as discussed in Section 3.2.  For even
   greater compactness, the code length sequences themselves are
   compressed using a prefix code.  The alphabet for code lengths is as

       0..15: Represent code lengths of 0..15
          16: Copy the previous non-zero code length 3..6 times.
              The next 2 bits indicate repeat length
                    (0 = 3, ... , 3 = 6)
              If this is the first code length, or all previous
              code lengths are zero, a code length of 8 is
              repeated 3..6 times.
              A repeated code length code of 16 modifies the
              repeat count of the previous one as follows:
                 repeat count = (4 * (repeat count - 2)) +
                                (3..6 on the next 2 bits)
              Example:  Codes 7, 16 (+2 bits 11), 16 (+2 bits 10)
                        will expand to 22 code lengths of 7
                        (1 + 4 * (6 - 2) + 5)
          17: Repeat a code length of 0 for 3..10 times.
              The next 3 bits indicate repeat length
                    (0 = 3, ... , 7 = 10)
              A repeated code length code of 17 modifies the
              repeat count of the previous one as follows:
                 repeat count = (8 * (repeat count - 2)) +
                                (3..10 on the next 3 bits)

   Note that a code of 16 that follows an immediately preceding 16
   modifies the previous repeat count, which becomes the new repeat
   count.  The same is true for a 17 following a 17.  A sequence of
   three or more 16 codes in a row or three of more 17 codes in a row is
   possible, modifying the count each time.  Only the final repeat count
   is used.  The modification only applies if the same code follows.  A
   16 repeat does not modify an immediately preceding 17 count nor vice

   A code length of 0 indicates that the corresponding symbol in the
   alphabet will not occur in the compressed data, and it should not
   participate in the prefix code construction algorithm given earlier.
   A complex prefix code must have at least two non-zero code lengths.

Top      ToC       Page 16 
   The bit lengths of the prefix code over the code length alphabet are
   compressed with the following variable-length code (as it appears in
   the compressed data, where the bits are parsed from right to left):

      Symbol   Code
      ------   ----
      0          00
      1        0111
      2         011
      3          10
      4          01
      5        1111

   We can now define the format of the complex prefix code as follows:

   o  2 bits: HSKIP, the number of skipped code lengths, can have values
      of 0, 2, or 3.  The skipped lengths are taken to be zero.  (An
      HSKIP of 1 indicates a Simple prefix code.)

   o  Code lengths for symbols in the code length alphabet given just
      above, in the order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 0, 5, 17, 6, 16, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,
      12, 13, 14, 15.  If HSKIP is 2, then the code lengths for symbols
      1 and 2 are zero, and the first code length is for symbol 3.  If
      HSKIP is 3, then the code length for symbol 3 is also zero, and
      the first code length is for symbol 4.

      The code lengths of code length symbols are between 0 and 5, and
      they are represented with 2..4 bits according to the variable-
      length code above.  A code length of 0 means the corresponding
      code length symbol is not used.

      If HSKIP is 2 or 3, a respective number of leading code lengths
      are implicit zeros and are not present in the code length sequence

      If there are at least two non-zero code lengths, any trailing zero
      code lengths are omitted, i.e., the last code length in the
      sequence must be non-zero.  In this case, the sum of (32 >> code
      length) over all the non-zero code lengths must equal to 32.

      If the lengths have been read for the entire code length alphabet
      and there was only one non-zero code length, then the prefix code
      has one symbol whose code has zero length.  In this case, that
      symbol results in no bits being emitted by the compressor and no
      bits consumed by the decompressor.  That single symbol is
      immediately returned when this code is decoded.  An example of
      where this occurs is if the entire code to be represented has
      symbols of length 8.  For example, a literal code that represents

Top      ToC       Page 17 
      all literal values with equal probability.  In this case the
      single symbol is 16, which repeats the previous length.  The
      previous length is taken to be 8 before any code length code
      lengths are read.

   o  Sequence of code length symbols, which is at most the size of the
      alphabet, encoded using the code length prefix code.  Any trailing
      0 or 17 must be omitted, i.e., the last encoded code length symbol
      must be between 1 and 16.  The sum of (32768 >> code length) over
      all the non-zero code lengths in the alphabet, including those
      encoded using repeat code(s) of 16, must be equal to 32768.  If
      the number of times to repeat the previous length or repeat a zero
      length would result in more lengths in total than the number of
      symbols in the alphabet, then the stream should be rejected as

4.  Encoding of Distances

   As described in Section 2, one component of a compressed meta-block
   is a sequence of backward distances.  In this section, we provide the
   details to the encoding of distances.

   Each distance in the compressed data part of a meta-block is
   represented with a pair <distance code, extra bits>.  The distance
   code and the extra bits are encoded back-to-back, the distance code
   is encoded using a prefix code over the distance alphabet, while the
   extra bits value is encoded as a fixed-width integer value.  The
   number of extra bits can be 0..24, and it is dependent on the
   distance code.

   To convert a distance code and associated extra bits to a backward
   distance, we need the sequence of past distances and two additional
   parameters: the number of "postfix bits", denoted by NPOSTFIX (0..3),
   and the number of direct distance codes, denoted by NDIRECT (0..120).
   Both of these parameters are encoded in the meta-block header.  We
   will also use the following derived parameter:

      POSTFIX_MASK = (1 << NPOSTFIX) - 1

Top      ToC       Page 18 
   The first 16 distance symbols are special symbols that reference past
   distances as follows:

      0: last distance
      1: second-to-last distance
      2: third-to-last distance
      3: fourth-to-last distance
      4: last distance - 1
      5: last distance + 1
      6: last distance - 2
      7: last distance + 2
      8: last distance - 3
      9: last distance + 3
     10: second-to-last distance - 1
     11: second-to-last distance + 1
     12: second-to-last distance - 2
     13: second-to-last distance + 2
     14: second-to-last distance - 3
     15: second-to-last distance + 3

   The ring buffer of the four last distances is initialized by the
   values 16, 15, 11, and 4 (i.e., the fourth-to-last is set to 16, the
   third-to-last to 15, the second-to-last to 11, and the last distance
   to 4) at the beginning of the *stream* (as opposed to the beginning
   of the meta-block), and it is not reset at meta-block boundaries.
   When a distance symbol 0 appears, the distance it represents (i.e.,
   the last distance in the sequence of distances) is not pushed to the
   ring buffer of last distances; in other words, the expression
   "second-to-last distance" means the second-to-last distance that was
   not represented by a 0 distance symbol (and similar for "third-to-
   last distance" and "fourth-to-last distance").  Similarly, distances
   that represent static dictionary words (see Section 8) are not pushed
   to the ring buffer of last distances.

   If a special distance symbol resolves to a zero or negative value,
   the stream should be rejected as invalid.

   If NDIRECT is greater than zero, then the next NDIRECT distance
   symbols, from 16 to 15 + NDIRECT, represent distances from 1 to
   NDIRECT.  Neither the special distance symbols nor the NDIRECT direct
   distance symbols are followed by any extra bits.

   Distance symbols 16 + NDIRECT and greater all have extra bits, where
   the number of extra bits for a distance symbol "dcode" is given by
   the following formula:

      ndistbits = 1 + ((dcode - NDIRECT - 16) >> (NPOSTFIX + 1))

Top      ToC       Page 19 
   The maximum number of extra bits is 24; therefore, the size of the
   distance symbol alphabet is (16 + NDIRECT + (48 << NPOSTFIX)).

   Given a distance symbol "dcode" (>= 16 + NDIRECT), and extra bits
   "dextra", the backward distance is given by the following formula:

      hcode = (dcode - NDIRECT - 16) >> NPOSTFIX
      lcode = (dcode - NDIRECT - 16) & POSTFIX_MASK
      offset = ((2 + (hcode & 1)) << ndistbits) - 4
      distance = ((offset + dextra) << NPOSTFIX) + lcode + NDIRECT + 1

5.  Encoding of Literal Insertion Lengths and Copy Lengths

   As described in Section 2, the literal insertion lengths and backward
   copy lengths are encoded using a single prefix code.  This section
   provides the details to this encoding.

   Each <insertion length, copy length> pair in the compressed data part
   of a meta-block is represented with the following triplet:

      <insert-and-copy length code, insert extra bits, copy extra bits>

   The insert-and-copy length code, the insert extra bits, and the copy
   extra bits are encoded back-to-back, the insert-and-copy length code
   is encoded using a prefix code over the insert-and-copy length code
   alphabet, while the extra bits values are encoded as fixed-width
   integer values.  The number of insert and copy extra bits can be
   0..24, and they are dependent on the insert-and-copy length code.

   Some of the insert-and-copy length codes also express the fact that
   the distance symbol of the distance in the same command is 0, i.e.,
   the distance component of the command is the same as that of the
   previous command.  In this case, the distance code and extra bits for
   the distance are omitted from the compressed data stream.

Top      ToC       Page 20 
   We describe the insert-and-copy length code alphabet in terms of the
   (not directly used) insert length code and copy length code
   alphabets.  The symbols of the insert length code alphabet, along
   with the number of insert extra bits, and the range of the insert
   lengths are as follows:

           Extra              Extra               Extra
      Code Bits Lengths  Code Bits Lengths   Code Bits Lengths
      ---- ---- -------  ---- ---- -------   ---- ---- -------
       0    0     0       8    2   10..13    16    6   130..193
       1    0     1       9    2   14..17    17    7   194..321
       2    0     2      10    3   18..25    18    8   322..577
       3    0     3      11    3   26..33    19    9   578..1089
       4    0     4      12    4   34..49    20   10   1090..2113
       5    0     5      13    4   50..65    21   12   2114..6209
       6    1    6,7     14    5   66..97    22   14   6210..22593
       7    1    8,9     15    5   98..129   23   24   22594..16799809

   The symbols of the copy length code alphabet, along with the number
   of copy extra bits, and the range of copy lengths are as follows:

           Extra              Extra               Extra
      Code Bits Lengths  Code Bits Lengths   Code Bits Lengths
      ---- ---- -------  ---- ---- -------   ---- ---- -------
       0    0     2       8    1    10,11    16    5   70..101
       1    0     3       9    1    12,13    17    5   102..133
       2    0     4      10    2    14..17   18    6   134..197
       3    0     5      11    2    18..21   19    7   198..325
       4    0     6      12    3    22..29   20    8   326..581
       5    0     7      13    3    30..37   21    9   582..1093
       6    0     8      14    4    38..53   22   10   1094..2117
       7    0     9      15    4    54..69   23   24   2118..16779333

Top      ToC       Page 21 
   To convert an insert-and-copy length code to an insert length code
   and a copy length code, the following table can be used:

          length        Copy length code
          code       0..7       8..15     16..23
                 |          |          |
           0..7  |   0..63  |  64..127 | <--- distance symbol 0
                 |          |          |
                 |          |          |          |
           0..7  | 128..191 | 192..255 | 384..447 |
                 |          |          |          |
                 |          |          |          |
           8..15 | 256..319 | 320..383 | 512..575 |
                 |          |          |          |
                 |          |          |          |
          16..23 | 448..511 | 576..639 | 640..703 |
                 |          |          |          |

   First, look up the cell with the 64 value range containing the
   insert-and-copy length code; this gives the insert length code and
   the copy length code ranges, both 8 values long.  The copy length
   code within its range is determined by bits 0..2 (counted from the
   lsb) of the insert-and-copy length code.  The insert length code
   within its range is determined by bits 3..5 (counted from the lsb) of
   the insert-and-copy length code.  Given the insert length and copy
   length codes, the actual insert and copy lengths can be obtained by
   reading the number of extra bits given by the tables above.

   If the insert-and-copy length code is between 0 and 127, the distance
   code of the command is set to zero (the last distance reused).

Next Section