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Re: Deleting uncompressed Info/Doc files at upgrades

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@pasteur.fr> writes:

> Do you mean that *every* application in Debian should be patched to
> read *.gz files?

I'm half of the opinion that documentation should be installed
uncompressed by default; people who want to save some disk space can
do as I do and use a filesystem compressor like (plug plug) e2compr
<http://debs.fuller.edu/e2compr/>.  Then maybe more people would work
on getting it ready for general release (e.g. better support in
e2fsck).  (I'm the current maintainer of e2compr.  My progress on key
needs has been quite slow over the past couple of months.)

In-filesystem compressors have some other advantages like caching, and
working on any type of file (except zImage, swap files, and loopback
files).  For example, I have all of /usr compressed except for a
handful of files in /usr/bin (just in case I need to boot on a kernel
without e2compr support).

It can be such a pain mucking about with gzipped files.  zless is
simply not as good as less.  Where's zgcc?

I said I was "half" of that opinion, and I'd better balance things
up a little.  E2compr is not a released work.  Some of the design is 
somewhat nasty and could benefit from a rewrite (not that anyone 
appears willing to do so).  E2compr adds (300KB?  More?) to the amount 
of unswappable RAM used by the kernel.  (Most of that could be made 
swappable with some work.)  The fact that zImage etc. must not be 
ext2-compressed adds a small degree of danger (i.e. people will get a 
shock if they try to compress these files).  Using any filesystem 
extension (especially compression) means you must use an appropriate 
kernel to access that filesystem.


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