Yann was a project manager who went from being burnt out on corporate life to becoming one of the most sought-after developers in the world. What happens when you build something so impressive and valuable that it essentially becomes invisible?
And how do you do that when your day job is mainly organizing spreadsheets and keeping timelines on track?
Yann built LZ4 and ZStandard - two of the world’s fastest compression algorithms that have transformed databases, operating systems, file systems, and much more. We’ll go back in time to Yann’s initial steps with programming, his game-changing discoveries along the way and how his devotion to data compression hobby led him to create something that saves billions of dollars worldwide.
LZ4 is a lossless data compression algorithm that is focused on compression and decompression speed. It belongs to the LZ77 family of byte-oriented compression schemes.
The LZ4 algorithms aims to provide a good trade-off between speed and compression ratio. Typically, it has a smaller (i.e., worse) compression ratio than the similar LZO algorithm, which in turn is worse than algorithms like DEFLATE. However, LZ4 compression speed is similar to LZO and several times faster than DEFLATE, while decompression speed is significantly faster than LZO.
LZ4 only uses a dictionary-matching stage (LZ77), and unlike other common compression algorithms does not combine it with an entropy coding stage (e.g. Huffman coding in DEFLATE).