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[Bug-tar] Re: AMTAR brokenness

From: Alexandre Duret-Lutz
Subject: [Bug-tar] Re: AMTAR brokenness
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 01:07:47 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

>>> "Roger" == Roger Leigh <address@hidden> writes:
 Roger> -       $(AMTAR) chof - $(distdir) | GZIP=$(GZIP_ENV) gzip -c 
 Roger> +       $(AMTAR) chf - $(distdir) --format=posix | GZIP=$(GZIP_ENV) 
gzip -c >$(distdir).tar.gz

Sorry for the late comment.  I can see at least three reasons
against this patch:

1. The --format=posix options is a GNU Tar option, which means `make dist'
   can no longer be run with other make implementations.  Automake makefiles 
   should be portable and this breaks it.

2. The --format option is a new option of tar 1.13.93, so the
   produced Makefile will not even run with widespread tar versions.

3. The POSIX format is young and AFAICT many platforms out there
   cannot read it.  (Sometimes tar won't read it but you can
   read it with the pax utility, sometimes neither work.
   E.g. such archives cause pax and tar to segfault on the OSF1
   V4.0 box I have access to.)

I'm not denying there is a problem to fix, but the above change
really breaks more things than it cures.  Without it, the only
people annoyed are those with 100+-character-long filenames.
With it _all_ packages produce non-portable tarballs using
non-portable syntax.

Forcing the ustar format might be a possibility (is it?), if
that can be done portably (that probably involves a configure
check).  Another idea is to arrange the dist rules so users have
a way to override the tar options.
Alexandre Duret-Lutz

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