Re: [dev] [sbase][tar] GNU tar support

From: Mattias Andrée <>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2020 22:49:32 +0100

On Wed, 25 Nov 2020 16:28:02 -0500
Cág <> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Laslo Hunhold wrote:
> > Dear Cág,
> > Even if a suckless implementation of GNU tar was possible, would you
> > really want it to be included? I'd rather like to encourage people to
> > use standard non-proprietary file formats.
> Yeah, I think I would. tar(1) is one of those cases where a compromise
> between being suckless and being usable has to be found. suckless (or was
> it just you haha) made their own image format, for example, but there is
> a level of compatibility (i.e. jpg/png converters are bundled).
> You can say that JavaScript is bad and all but without it you can't browse
> the web. You can say the same about C++ but a modern Unix desktop can't
> exist without it.
> The compatibility article Hadrien linked claims that all examined variants
> support GNU tar.

I'm not sure what special with GNU tar, but the ability to read tar files
of all common formats I would say is desirable, however not creating new
tar files in those formats.

Concerning farbfeld, it is quite a different thing to create a new simpler
standard than supporting an already existing but complex standard. Farbfeld
was a good first step in moving towards simpler image formats, although
even if would have got exceptionally good traction it would take quiet some
time before support for older complex formats could be removed, and in the
meantime support for an additional, but simple, format would be required
which would add code (not complexity) to image format libraries. I think
this is forth it in the long run, and it gave us a good standard format
for programs, that don't need to support user provided files, to use, better
than the netpbm formats.
Received on Wed Nov 25 2020 - 22:49:32 CET

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