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Re: Size matters. Debian binary package stats

On 12/18/05, Steinar H. Gunderson <sgunderson@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 18, 2005 at 10:15:31PM +0100, Olaf van der Spek wrote:
> > I guess what I'm asking is, why are tar and other applications using
> > gzip instead of a generic library that handles all
> > compression/decompression and can be easily extended.
> General complexity, I'd guess. If you want "easily extended", you'll have to
> cope with dynamic, shared libraries -- look to NSS for a case on how evil
> that can get. (And tar is really something you'd like to stay small and
> simple.) Also, having to hunt down the right plug-in module for whatever
> format somebody had the bright idea to use at some point can be a real pain.
> (Ever had to use one of those "codec packs" for Micosoft Windows?)
> Besides, UNIX does this a different way, traditionally -- via separate
> programs. "gzip -d file.tar.gz ; tar xf file.tar" gives you most of the same
> functionality, with zero extra complexity. (Try --use-compress-program in GNU
> tar, but that probably doesn't exist in anything else.)

I guess that's even easier. Just use/write a filter that looks at the
header and invoke the right coder/decoder internally.

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