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

Jon Skeet skeet at pobox.com
Wed Sep 7 05:54:23 UTC 2016

On 6 September 2016 at 23:31, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:

> On 09/05/2016 10:38 PM, Jon Skeet wrote:
>> The "tried and tested" compression formats (gzip, zip, even bzip2)
> If the overriding goal is a compression format that works everywhere now,
> then gzip is clearly the way to go, as we're already using it and all other
> formats are therefore more likely to cause a problem on some platform
> somewhere.
> Luckily, though, that's not an absolute goal. Although lzip format is not
> everybody's preference, this is also true for other compression formats,
> and lzip is a reasonable choice for problems that the new distribution
> attempts to address.

So whose preference *is* lzip? You've seen a number of us express our
dissatisfaction - who actually benefits from this? Sure, it means
downloading slightly less data - but whose priority is that, whose
"absolute goal"? We've already agreed that this is aimed at developers
rather than end users - and I and others (as developers) have expressed our
preference for gzip (or zip or bzip2). Who has expressed a significant
preference for lzip, out of the target audience?

> Our continuing to distribute gzip-format tarballs will address
> backwards-compatibility concerns.

Yes, those of us who prefer a compression format which is widely supported
within programming languages can use the existing distribution format - but
can't take advantage of any of the benefits of the new format. Why not
bring the benefits of the new format to more people?

> Besides, it's not like this is our first rodeo. We formerly used
> Lempel-Ziv format, and switched to gzip format before gzip was
> nearly-universally installed and supported.

I don't see that that's any argument for changing now.

One option I'll repeat as it seems to have been missed: distribute multiple
formats. If there's already going to be the backwards-compatible gzip files
and the new lz file, why not *also* have a new gzip file?

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