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Re: Please test gzip -9n - related to dpkg with multiarch support

Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:

> pristine-tar hat tricks[1] aside, none of gzip, bzip2, xz are required
> to always produce the same compressed file for a given input file, and I
> can tell you from experience that there is a wide amount of
> variation. If multiarch requires this, then its design is at worst
> broken, and at best, there will be a lot of coordination pain every time
> there is a new/different version of any of these that happens to
> compress slightly differently.

> Maybe there was a reason for Guillem to want to tread carefully.

I wanted to come back to this and make a quick comment on it since it's an
important point.

I completely agree there were very good reasons for Guillem to want to
tread carefully.  But I think that having a public alpha test and to have
other people poking at it is critical, because otherwise that discussion
has a tendency to only happen in the head of a few developers, with
everyone else tending to assume there aren't problems.  We collectively
have a lot of wisdom and a lot of experience with edge cases, and I think
we needed the project in general to get involved in this discussion.  And
in practice that usually doesn't happen until there's a thing that people
can use and encounter problems with, and that feels like it might become
the future unless people object or report bugs.  And it also makes it
clear what those problems are, so that people who are anxious to see the
new features can see publicly what has to be dealt with first before
they can be made available.

My feeling is that this discussion is exactly the sort of outcome that I
was hoping for from a public alpha test.  We found a problem that wasn't
completely thought-through, and now we're discussing it.  It wasn't the
*ideal* outcome, which would have been that everything was great and we
could move forward into our happy Multi-Arch future, but it's an important
and useful outcome.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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