[tz] [PROPOSED PATCH 2/2] Use lz format for new tarball

Marc Lehmann schmorp at schmorp.de
Wed Aug 31 07:53:01 UTC 2016

On Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 05:21:09PM -0700, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
> 1. Simplifying the distribution process. This can be seen in the proposed
> changes to tz-link.htm describing how to download and extract the release.
> The current tz-link.htm uses five shell commands to do that; the proposed
> tz-link.htm cuts this to two. These simplifications will make configuration
> errors less likely, as well as make it easier for newcomers.

At the expense of a rather obscure compression format (lzip), support
for which might have to be downloaded, compiled and installed first.

For example, openwrt doesn't have lzip, and generally no compiler
available, so lzip-only would make it impossible to install new zoneinfo
data on these kind of platforms currently. As comparison, gzip, bzip2 and
(a bit less so) xz are readily available on most platforms - busybox, for
example, has support for all three.

openwrt might be an extreme example, but most smaller gnu/linux distros
also have no lzip package, but all have gzip, bzip2, and most have xz.

> 2. Shrinking the distribution tarball. This matters less, but while we're
> doing (1) we might as well do (2). Not everyone is as well-off and
> well-connected as Apple and UCLA.

Having a data-only (comment-stripped) release might go much further along
that - if the goal is large-scale distribution and frequent updates, then
distributing a 24kb file (in addition) is much easier than a 380kb file.

Thinking of many smaller end-devices such as phones, a 24kb download might
still be nontrivial, but much easier to do as part of some urgent updates
than a 380kb one for example, and much easier to justify.

> But the comments are the best part! :-)

Sure, but I would say statistically, 100.00%(*) of the people downloading zoneinfo
data will never have a look, especially on embeded devices.

(*) some rounding might be necessary

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