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RFC: Possible deprecating of bzip2 in dpkg-deb?


While adding support for control.tar.xz and control.tar to dpkg-deb in
dpkg 1.17.6, I pondered about adding support too for control.tar.bz2,
but ended up not doing so, because it does not seem to bring in any
benefit that none, gzip or xz compression do, and because it could
always be added later on, but dropping it would be problematic.

This made me consider the point of supporting data.tar.bz2 too, because
it's either slower or takes more memory or space than with none, gzip
or xz. So was wondering if maybe we should consider deprecating it in
Debian (via a deprecation process in dpkg-deb and lintian)? That would
not change much for dpkg itself, as unpacking support will remain as
long as .deb version 2.x is supported, but might improve the compliance
chart in <https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/DebSupport> for other
tools, and would reduce the support surface when it comes to binary
packages in the Debian archive going forward. Is there any actual
benefit in using bzip2 (instead of the others) for *binary* Debian
packages, that people could think of?

I'm not sure how many packages currently use bzip2 in the archive
though, does anyone know if this is recorded in one of the project
databases (projectB, UDD or similar)? Otherwise I might go on a
hunting expedition at some point.


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