Re: [dev][sbase] Proposal of suckless compression

From: Dmitrij D. Czarkoff <>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 17:41:29 +0200

Ralph Eastwood said:
> OpenBSD even had 'gzip' aliased to? compress.

Had? From gzip(1) manual:

| gzip compatibility was added to compress(1) in OpenBSD 3.4. The
| `g' in this version of gzip stands for ``gratis''.

  $ ls -1i /usr/bin/{compress,gzip}
  1455743 /usr/bin/compress
  1455743 /usr/bin/gzip

> It appears that the lz77/deflate gzip is a GNUism.

All three implementations (by GNU, NetBSD and OpenBSD) use deflate.
Naturally this is GNUism - GNU version is canonical one.

> Nothing bad about that - but I think although the current norm
> dominates, it is only the current norm and people can shift.

People can shift, but archives can't. Most of tarballs that already
available as .tgz or .tar.gz will remain in that format forever, and
having to use GNU tar in order to use them is unacceptable.

Sure, one can do just "cat tarball.tgz | gunzip | tar x", which is even
more UNIXy then "tar xzf tarball.tgz", but the latter form is what
literally all UNIX users do for at least a decade.

P.S.: GNU and FreeBSD implementations of tar have "-J" option for
xz-compressed tarballs. NetBSD and OpenBSD don't have it. I am not
sure whether this allows to say that ".txz" tarballs are not a norm yet.

Dmitrij D. Czarkoff
Received on Wed Sep 24 2014 - 17:41:29 CEST

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