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Re: [Qemu-block] [PATCH V4 08/10] block/qcow2: start using the compress

From: Peter Lieven
Subject: Re: [Qemu-block] [PATCH V4 08/10] block/qcow2: start using the compress format extension
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:50:38 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.5.1

Am 20.07.2017 um 21:19 schrieb Eric Blake:
> On 07/20/2017 11:30 AM, Peter Lieven wrote:
>>> The new code is now unconditionally initializing with -15 instead of
>>> -12.  Does that matter, or does decompression work regardless of window
>>> size used at creation, as long as the initialized size at decompression
>>> is at least as large?  On the other hand, I guess that means if someone
>>> compresses with a large window, and then I initialize the decompressor
>>> with a small window, my decompression will fail?  That's why knowing the
>>> minimum window size should be part of the spec, whether or not we make
>>> it a tunable.
>> The decompression is supposed to fail if you compress with 15 and
>> decompress with 12. In fact it doesn't.
> Actually, I think (this is my guess here, not actual researched fact)
> that the decompression error is possible ONLY if compression produced a
> symbol that actually required more than 12 bits of memory - to get that
> large of a symbol, you need to compress a lot of bits.  For our default
> cluster of 64k, it might very well be that you rarely, if ever,
> encounter a single cluster that compresses differently under window size
> 15 than it did under window size 12 (other than perhaps the speed at
> which compression took place), because there simply wasn't enough
> content to reach the point where you needed a symbol in the compression
> stream using more than 12 bits.  So in that case, compressing under 15
> and decompressing under 12 doesn't hit the error.  But as you get larger
> cluster sizes (2M clusters), or perhaps if you pass particularly nasty
> sequences of input to compression (I'm not sure what sequences would
> have the right properties), then you do indeed result in a compression
> stream that starts to encounter symbols exceeding the window size.
> But if my guess is right, then don't read the docs as "decompression
> will fail", but rather as "decompression may fail" if you set the
> decompress window smaller than the compression window.
>> I would like to avoid the windowBits in the qcow2 header as it makes
>> the code to read and write it more complicated. If you don't like the change
>> of the windowBits we can even stick with 12. If someone wants fast 
>> compression
>> he will likely not use zlib at all and use lzo.
> Also, note that historically, 'compress -b N' has allowed tuning the
> window size; current POSIX states that compress only has to support
> windows from 9 to 14, but permits implementations to use up to 16 (and
> future POSIX is considering improving the compress utility to require
> support for 16 as the window size, https://posix.rhansen.org/p/bug1041).
>  I don't know why gzip didn't expose a '-b N' windowsize parameter the
> way compress did, but it sounds like the same thing.
>> I just changed the windowBits to 15 as it increases speed and improves 
>> compression.
> Does windowBits 16 make any difference?

16 is not allowed. Deflate allows only 2^8 through 2^15 window size.
While we are talking, I thing we should choose not zlib but deflate for the
compress format name.


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