[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: request for review: lbzip2

ERSEK Laszlo <lacos@caesar.elte.hu> writes:

> I've been advised under [0] to ask the SRP to review my lbzip2
> package's description and manual page. If this is the wrong place to
> ask, I apologize for the noise.

(I don't know what SRP is; perhaps I haven't been paying attention.)

This forum is certainly the right place to ask for an review of English
language usage in a Debian package, thanks for presenting your package
for review.

> [1] http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/lbzip2

The description:

> Description: parallel bzip2 filter

Thanks for making the synopsis fit the best-practices template of an
unadorned noun phrase.

What does it mean for the reader that this is a “parallel bzip2 filter”?
Is it a filter of “parallel bzip2”, or is it a “parallel filter” of
bzip2 data?

You can assume that the synopsis will be further explained by the long
description, but I would want “parallel” and “filter” to be less
ambiguous here. Perhaps “multi-threaded implementation of bzip2 codec”,
if that actually is an accurate synopsis.

>  Lbzip2 is a Pthreads-based parallel bzip2/bunzip2 filter, passable to GNU tar
>  with the --use-compress-program option.

Since this is case-sensitive Unix, presumably “lbzip2” names a different
entity from “Lbzip2”. On that assumption, I will recommend that you
don't change its capitalisation for the beginning of a sentence.

The latter clause might be simpler as a separate sentence:

    It can be used by GNU ‘tar’ as an external compression program.

>  It isn't restricted to regular files
>  on input, nor output. Lbzip2 utilizes multiple threads and an input-bound
>  splitter even when decompressing bz2 files created by standard bzip2.
>  Successful splitting for decompression isn't guaranteed, just very likely
>  (failure is detected). Splitting in both modes and compression itself occur
>  with an approximate 900k block size.

This seems like far too much attention to implementation details. Could
you try re-phrasing this to address an audience who wants to know
whether or not they want this package on their system, and who may not
yet know much of anything about the specific details of what the package
is trying to do?

>  On an Athlon-64 X2 6000+, lbzip2 was 92% faster than standard bzip2 when
>  compressing, and 45% faster when decompressing (based on wall clock time).
>  .
>  On a 2x Quad-Core Opteron 2352, lbzip2 was 588% faster than standard bzip2
>  when compressing, and 394% faster when decompressing (based on wall clock
>  time).

These seem quite redundant, and very likely to be out of date whenever a
new release is made. Why are they in the description at all?

 \          “Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; |
  `\    those in philosophy only ridiculous.” —David Hume, _A Treatise |
_o__)                                           of Human Nature_, 1739 |
Ben Finney

Reply to: