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Re: [Bug-tar] tar "v7" format archives are created with directory entrie

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: [Bug-tar] tar "v7" format archives are created with directory entries
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2012 18:16:59 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Thunderbird/17.0

On 12/03/2012 03:04 PM, Sergey Poznyakoff wrote:
> It was changed around February, 1997, so that tar began accepting
> directories when in "old archive" mode. This change was followed
> by the inclusion of the old.sh test case[1] (presently old.at), which
> explicitly tests that directories be accepted in "old archive" mode.

This is talking about what tar will accept, but isn't the bug report
about what tar generates?  Tar could be more generous about what it
accepts than about what it produces.

> I don't know what was the rationale for that change, but I suppose that
> it had something to do with the fact that Makefiles produced by Automake
> use the -o option to create what was called "v7 archives". Perhaps
> Paul can give some more insight.

I don't remember the details.  Perhaps it had to do with problems
with true Seventh Edition format being incompatible with other tars in
use at the time?

Perhaps we should leave the current behavior alone, since it's been that way
for quite some time and possibly people depend on it.  We could add an option
that produces true Seventh Edition Unix images, i.e., without the directories.
That way, we won't break existing uses.  We could call the new option
--format='seventh-edition'.  This would fit right in, since
the official name for that release was 'Seventh Edition Unix', and
the moniker 'V7' is a bastardized shorthand that tends to rankle the
true old-timers.

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