Re: Linux Kernel Source Compression

From: Alistair John Strachan
Date: Mon May 22 2006 - 15:14:14 EST

On Monday 22 May 2006 20:10, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> Alistair John Strachan wrote:
> > On Monday 22 May 2006 19:58, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> > [snip]
> >
> >> Personally, I would like to suggest adding LZMA capability to gzip.
> >> The gzip format already has support for multiple compression formats.
> >
> > Any idea why this wasn't done for bzip2?
> Yes, the bzip2 author I have been told was originally planning to do that,
> but then thought it would be harder to deploy that way (because gzip is a
> core utility, and people are nervous about making it larger.)
> You'd have to ask him for the details, though.
> It *is* true that there is a fair bit of code out there which sees a gzip
> magic number and expects to call deflate functions on it, without ever
> checking the compression type field. However, even if there is a need for a
> new magic number, this can be done within the gzip code, or by forking
> gzip.

One trivial solution (that comes to mind) is by symlinking gunzip->unlzma (or
similar) and having gzip's defaults change according to argv[0].

It's a bit of a shame bzip2 even exists, really. It really would be better if
there was one unified, pluggable archiver on UNIX (and portables).


Third year Computer Science undergraduate.
1F2 55 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, UK.
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