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Re: [Bug-ed] GNU ed 1.10 released

From: Martin Guy
Subject: Re: [Bug-ed] GNU ed 1.10 released
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:11:51 +0100

Certainly, for small systems, gzip is the compression of choice.
To unzip gmp-snapshot, gzip takes 600Kbyte of RAM where lunzip takes
15MB, and lunzip takes twice as much CPU time to decompress. The same
was true when bzip2 was the preferred power compression.
For example, the fact that one package is now lzipped instead of
gzipped means that you now cannot install Debian on a system with 64MB
of RAM because one package fails for lack of VM during decompression.

However, I see that the compression achieved by lzip is almost twice
as good as gzip:
 3081791 gmp-5.1.90-20140224.tar.gz
 1898483 gmp-5.1.90-20140224.tar.lz
so I guess that the reasons may be purely practical: to save on GNU's
astronomical bandwidth costs for downloads. That is compelling for
large packages or packages that can only be used on powerful systems
anyway, less so for ed, which is small in itself and more likely to be
used on small systems that are more likely to be able to run gzip.



On 24/02/2014, Ulrich Mueller <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>>> On Mon, 24 Feb 2014, Antonio Diaz Diaz wrote:
>> Gzip is becoming obsolete and a small but growing number of GNU
>> projects are no more providing gzipped tarballs (alive, gnutls,
>> coreutils, ddrescue, grep, guile-sdl, serveez, diffutils, idutils,
>> parted, rcs, cppi, vc-dwim...).
>> I have been phasing out gzip for 5 years now, and my plan is to stop
>> providing .gz files from now on.
> Could I ask you to reconsider this decision, and continue releasing ed
> in some more widespread format, parallel to the lzip file? gzip,
> bzip2, and xz seem to be the popular choices nowadays, the latter
> being used by most of the GNU projects you've mentioned above.
>> I hope this transition does not cause too many problems, as lzip is
>> well supported by GNU tools like tar or automake, and is the only
>> format used for testing versions by some projects[1].
> It causes problems insofar as users will have to install another
> unpacker for a single package. I think you should leave the decision
> to them if they prefer lzip over other compression tools.
> Or do you have actual download counts that say that most users have
> downloaded only the .lz for the previous ed releases, and .gz has
> fallen out of use?
> Ulrich
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