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status of bzip

On Mon 08 Dec 1997, wnpp@debian.org wrote:

>   o  Orphaned auctex, bzip (libc5), ghostview, lacheck (libc5), libc5,

If the original bzip is meant here, it should probably be removed. It's
not supported anymore, and the author writes the following on
http://www.muraroa.demon.co.uk/ :

    I'm no longer distributing 0.21, because doing so perpetuates
    problems with patents, which ensures that the program will never be
    widely used.  That's a shame, because it's a useful program, and
    lots of people seem to like it. If you use 0.21 already, please
    upgrade to bzip2. I can't, unfortunately, make bzip2 be able to
    decompress 0.21's .bz files, since that would render the
    patent-avoidance exercise pointless. I know changing file formats is
    painful; from now on, I'll try and make any further changes in a
    backwards compatible way. 

As bzip resides in base, that should also change, as it it apparently
not free.

Alternatively, there is decompress-only source code available at the
above URL, which could be put into a package and dropped into non-free.
This could be necessary for those that have bzip-compressed data...
What are the thoughts on this? I'd be willing to package this ('bunzip'
perhaps?)  bzip2 might then suggest bunzip and conflict with bzip.

Paul Slootman
Can you get your operating system fixed when you need it?
Linux - the supportable operating system. http://www.debian.org/support.html
home: paul@wurtel.demon.nl | work: paul@murphy.nl
http://www.wurtel.demon.nl | Murphy Software, Enschede, the Netherlands

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