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Re: GNU Parallel 20160322 ('Bruxelles') released

From: Ole Tange
Subject: Re: GNU Parallel 20160322 ('Bruxelles') released
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 20:00:57 +0200

On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 3:11 PM, Shlomi Fish <> wrote:
> One note: can the tarball also be supplied as tar.xz? I checked and it reduces
> the size quite a bit.

I have considered that.

I get 1053860 (xz) vs. 1265407 (bz2). So a saving of 200 KB. Less than
a photo these days.

GNU Parallel prides itself on being compatible with very old operating
systems. These systems do not have an xz unpacker so the .xz version
would have to be in addition to the .bz2 version. The xz-file takes
around 80% extra disk space on the ftp-mirrors.

These days most people will be getting GNU Parallel as a package from
their distribution (thanks to you amongst others), and this package
will be compressed using whatever the distribution uses. So these
people will not see any difference.

The packagers (such as yourself) will see the difference, but there
are not very many of you so the possible bandwidth saving may eat
itself in the extra mirroring that has to happen to the mirrorsites.

Then there are people who downloads the source themselves because they
need the newest version. With the exception of people on this list
they most likely will not download every single release, but instead
only download when they need a new feature/bugfix. My belief is that
these are also relatively few, and the possible saving in bandwidth
has to be measured against the extra harddisk space that an xz-file
will take - and keep taking also in the future.

Finally there is the hassle of setting up and keeping another format
working to save 200 KB per release.

All in all I come to the conclusion that the benefits are small and
the downsides are just a bit bigger than the benefits. So for the
foreseeable future there will not be an extra format.


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