(I'm sending this directly to the mailing list, as I haven't yet
received any replies from Curt himself, who's probably too busy anyway)

As I mentioned already on the user-mailing list a couple of days ago, Stewart & Steven Andreason have finished their tardiff script - a perl script that creates patch files for two different versions of tar-archives.

This script has meanwhile been heavily modified, so that it should
now be able to deal with most 'track-able' changes between two
different versions of an archive, and thereby reducing the required
download time, as only a patch needs to be downloaded and not the
whole archive itself.

This is interesting and relevant for FlightGear cause it enables
easy creation of (usually) *SMALL* patch archives, so that users
won't have to download a complete base-package (~ 90 MB) from
flightgear.org if they want to upgrade to a newer (pre-)release.

So far, the patch archives between two successive versions were usually
approx. 2-5 MB in size - so this is indeed a significant reduction of
more than 90 %.

Of course, the exact size is likely to vary in the future, depending
on the changes that are being made and whether tardiff itself is
smart enough to track them down.

But even the patch from 0.9.4(final) to 0.9.6-pre1 is 'only' about
25 MB- so less than 1/3 of the actual base-package download itself.


Because of this obvious advantage (particularly for users with slow
dial-up connections, but also for those among us who have broadband
access, but don't like to wait... ) we would now like to know what
the rest of you thinks about adding those tardiff based patches as an OFFICIAL alternative *directly* to the FlightGear webpage as option to
the downloads section for FlightGear's most recent base packages.


As most FlighGear users probably won't want to run 'tardiff' directly,
but would rather choose to only download the created patches for their
respective fgfs-base directory, a sourceforge project was set up.

Actually, the whole process of applying the patch is rather simple,
it involves only:

        - determining what base package version you're using right now
        - download the correct patch for the latest fgfs-base package
        - backup your existing base-package (just in case ...)
        - apply the patch by extracting the patch-archive
        - running the final "finish"-script - (a unix & win shell scrip)
        => DONE !

So, the plan is, to also provide future patches via that sourceforge
project - this is a very straight forward process and takes less than
5 minutes.

At: https://sourceforge.net/projects/tardiff you can find the
project's sourceforge page, where the patches are also being
made available - the homepage (including extensive documentation)
can be found at http://tardiff.sourceforge.net - tardiff itself
is general enough to be also used for other projects, too.

So, ultimately this would not only reduce traffic for flightgear.org
and its mirrors but it wouldn't even consume any resources on
flightgear.org or its mirrors either.

Thanks for your feedback.

--------- Boris

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