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distribution tarball format [was: Announcing the release of GNU findutil

From: Bernhard Voelker
Subject: distribution tarball format [was: Announcing the release of GNU findutils 4.7.0]
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 08:25:11 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.8.0

[adding the mailing list]

Hello Antonio,

On 8/31/19 9:59 AM, Antonio Diaz Diaz wrote:
> Hello Bernhard,
> Thanks for this new version of GNU findutils. :-)

no worries, that release was long overdue, but finally we made it.

> Bernhard Voelker wrote:
>> "make dist" no longer builds .tar.gz files.
>> xz is portable enough and in wide-enough use that distributing
>> only .tar.xz files is enough.
> It may be enough but, is it a good idea[1]? Is xz the format we want to 
> leave to our children[2]?
> [1] http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/lzip_benchmark.html#xz1
> [2] http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/xz_inadequate.html

I pushed this change (in Oct 2017) merely to go away from .gz which
produces much larger files, and because several other GNU projects
also use it.
Just surfing through the recent releases on ftp.gnu.org, we see a
complete mixture of .gz, .xz, and .lz; some like gawk even distribute
all 3 formats.

I personally don't know much about compression, and therefore I am
just a "user": so while I do not want to fuzz with internals, I think
we need a format which is available per default on many systems.
I have access to at least a NetBSD box where lzip is not installed
while xz is.

The argument regarding integrity has already been discussed e.g.
GNU packages always have a separate signature file, so one should
only rely on that.

If you want to get the ball rolling, I suggest to move this discussion
to the gnu-prog-discuss mailing list.

Have a nice day,

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