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Re: feature request: gzip/bzip support for sort

From: Craig Macdonald
Subject: Re: feature request: gzip/bzip support for sort
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 00:25:50 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20061206)

Firstly, I wanted to say that I am exited by the extremely fast progress that has been made in sort for compressed temporary files.
Many thanks to Dan and others for the implementation.
(I've failed to accomplish the bootstrap of the CVS sources - are there bootstrapped snapshots
available anywhere?)
For 'sort' the tradeoff is different than for 'tar'.  We
don't particularly care if the format is stable, since it's
throwaway.  And we want fast compression, whereas people
generating tarballs often are willing to have way slower
compression for a slightly higher compression ratio.  (Plus,
new versions of 'tar' allow arbitrary compressors anyway.)

Now that we have the ability to fork decompression processes, are
we likely to see sort have the ability to open gzipped(or bzip2ed) files?
For sorting a stream of compressed, this is obviously not required, but for merging,
this would reduce a substantial mess with zcats to fifos etc etc.
However, I'd understand if it was decided not to, because unlike the temporary
files, there is an existing workable solution.

Many thanks

Craig Macdonald

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