Re: Adding support for LZIP to dpkg, using that instead of xz, archive wide
Russ Allbery wrote:
That doesn't mean your objections are wrong, and I certainly haven't
looked at it in detail. But they don't seem to be widely shared.
It is software, a branch of mathematics, what is being discussed here.
In mathematics a proof outweights the opinion of the whole humankind. It
doesn't matter how much consensus you gather, pi won't become 3. My
objections to xz are based on proof that xz is wrong.
I realize that you're quite confident in your expertise here, and quite
possibly have reason to be confident, but it might be worth remembering
that, to the rest of us, you're just some random person on a mailing list
who has written some competing software and wants us to use it. No
offense, but we see a *lot* of people like that, and most of them are
significantly overstating their claims. So you're facing a fair bit of
You continue speaking as if this were a political question that you can
win by obtaining the approval of the majority or something. There is no
place here neither for faith nor for scepticism. Just verify that my
affirmations are true, or refute them.
I am not writing here because I want you to use lzip. I am writing here
because I want you (Debian) to stop spreading FUD against lzip, like
".lz only supports CRC32" (implying that lzip integrity is weak), or
gratuitously affirming that ".xz is superior to .lz". I am still waiting
for anybody in this list to tell us in what aspect is .xz superior to .lz.
And BTW, I would be pretty happy if Debian switched from xz to bzip2.
Bzip2 is a much better format than xz.
Therefore, our community welcomes both, and does not
react well to aggressive statements like this about how the other set of
beliefs is obviously wrong.
Aggressive statement? I guess your community should change its own
documentation. I merely copied the description from there:
"Truly free software is always free. Software that is placed in the
public domain can be snapped up and put into non-free programs. Any
improvements then made are lost to society. To stay free, software must
be copyrighted and licensed."
Also, anyone who describes their own format as flawless raises HUGE red
flags for me. It indicates some really scary hubris.
"I gave desperate warnings against the obscurity, the complexity, and
overambition of the new design, but my warnings went unheeded. I
conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One
way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and
the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious
-- C.A.R. Hoare
It is easy to design a flawless format. All one has to do is to make it
as simple as possible (but not simpler). The whole definition of the
lzip format is shorter than the table of contents of the xz format.
Each lzip member has the following structure:
| ID string |VN|DS|Lzma stream| CRC32 | Data size | Member size |
I challenge you to find a flaw in the format above.
The really scary hubris is to think that the consensus of a group of
ignorants can produce better results than an expert. (Ignorant is not an
insult. All of us are ignorant on most matters).