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RE: [found the culprit]

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [found the culprit]
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 11:58:28 -0800 (PST)

> The question is not "what do we do when we receive an uncompressed tar
> file", but rather "what do we do when we have a compressed tar file"
> and "what do we do when the user requests to compress a directory".

`Z' should do what it's long done.

But if you want to give it a special behavior for
directories, I have no objection.  I already said
that the particular command can have behavior that
treats exceptions exceptionally.  The exception
is for directories - we should not change the whole
`Z' command for all tar and tar.gz just because we
want to do something special in the case of directories.

As for the behavior that you want - the new `Z'
behavior: just define it as a new, different command.
Give it another key, if you think that's needed.

I don't see why the general behavior of `Z' should
be changed for tar/tar.gz/.tgz, just because of the
desire to do something better for directories.

> in my experience ".tar.gz" is itself considered as an
> archive format rather
> than "a compressed file which contains an archive"

Fair enough.  But that's not the only way it's
considered, I think.  It is still possible, at
least outside Dired, to uncompress without extracting,

> in the sense that in the vast majority of cases people
> take a directory and pack it up into a .tar.gz "tarball"
> or take a ".tar.gz" and unpack it into a directory tree:
> the cases where the .tar intermediate step is used
> explicitly are much less frequent.

Yes, though an exception, the directory case is
common. ;-)

It's an exception, in that its only one thing you can
tar up and compress.  But you're right that it is
very common.

Maybe we should have a separate command for it?

> > The question is whether `Z' should support tar files.
> No.  It does and has done so for a long time and there's
> no suggestion to make it stop supporting it.
> And indeed Dired's `Z` has been compressing directories to tar.gz and
> uncompressing tar.gz to directories (rather than to tar files) for many
> years now.

So what's new is that it now does the same for
non-directories?  If so, why is that good/needed?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what this is all about.
If so, I'm sorry for all the noise.

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