On Fri, 28 Nov 2008, Jan Engelhardt wrote:

I see that LZIP is GPL licensed and is pretty small, and with just
one author.

Sometimes, simplicity is the key. And I do not think that having
exactly 1.0 authors makes a project insignificant.

Actually I like the "1.0 authors" since it makes the copyright issues more clear and means that there is someone empowered to update the license or defend the copyright if necessary. In contrast FSF GNU projects require that all authors sign a contract with the FSF to assign copyrights. That is a tedious task.

I like simplicity as well. From my point of view 'gzip' is an ideal package other than its compression ratio.

If automake now supports 'lzip', why does it not also offer to support 7-Zip',
'srpm', 'zoo', 'arc', and the many other possible archiving formats so that
confusion of the user base can become complete?

I would say because 7zip, ZOO and ARC (what's with these 1990s packers?)
do not support UNIX owners nor permissions (required for the beloved +x bit
on scripts.).

It was my impression that Automake adopted LZMA utils without fully evaluating the impact. Introducing a new archive format is really quite a big deal since it impacts many thousands of open source users well into the future. As it turned out, LZMA utils conflicted with another available LZMA utility, which caused some problems for FreeBSD and likely other distributions as well.

My own package is now distributing .lzma packages. This is a big deal for it moving forward since changing the package format will break something. OS distributions are only recently becoming used to .lzma and have had to update scripts and tools to deal with it.

Due to the preponderance of distribution formats, the actual amount of data on ftp sites is dramatically increasing rather than decreasing since packages feel that they must produce archives in every possible format. If an archive format was ever offered before, the feeling is that it must continue to be offered for the rest of time.

It would be useful if the Automake project would thoroughly research all issues and come up with a plan which reduces total world impact. We need a Green Solution which avoids wasteful practices which surely increase global warming and further tax our dwindling fossil fuel supply. These are all factors which should be considered:

  * Number of files needing to be uploaded to distribution sites, or
    mirrored.

  * Individual file size.

  * Utility implementation license and copyrights.

  * Utility portability.

  * Utility performance and reliability.

  * Utility usage complexity.

  * Utility long-term maintenance expectations.

  * Effort to integrate into established packaging and source
    distribution systems.

Bob
======================================
Bob Friesenhahn
[EMAIL PROTECTED], http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/



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