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

Jon Skeet skeet at pobox.com
Tue Sep 6 05:38:18 UTC 2016

This sentence concerns me - the rest of the message sounded good:

Developers can easily get support for all the formats discussed

That's just not true. Or rather, it's not true in a convenient fashion. The
"tried and tested" compression formats (gzip, zip, even bzip2) have good
API support within a broad range of programming languages. It's *much* easier
to write code to deal with a tar.gz file than it is to: a) ensure that the
xz tool is installed; b) create a temporary directory; c) shell out to run
the tool and check that it was successful; d) use the files; e) clean up
the temporary directory.

If the only developer use of the files was "extract them from the command
line and look at them" then I'd be fine with a relatively obscure
compression format, but as developers tend to want to write tools to *use* the
files - preferably without always having to go through the extraction
process first - the benefit of wide interoperability trumps compression
sizes, for me at least. And as we're only talking about a relatively small
number of machines, a difference in compression size won't affect much
network traffic.

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