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Re: Please add lzip support in the repository




Matthias Klumpp wrote...

> So, lzip isn't adopted widely, that's certainly not because of Debian
> or any other Linux distribution.

The war is over, the winner is VHS.

Trying to get lzip support in wider usage is somewhat a boot-up
problem: Few people see an advantage in doing this, so it doesn't
happen a lot, so people in Debian have no reason to add it either. And
while Debian might have enough power to force lzip into the market,
again nobody sees the big gain, a lot of work though. Overall, I fail
to see why this should happen. Perhaps, perhaps for upstream tarballs.

Regarding compression methods, neither Debian nor other users are at a
critical juncture right now, not even close. The last one has been
2008-ish when the shortcomings of lzma were quite obvious. In retrospect
it was interesting to learn why the decision was made for xz, still this
would not affect the current situation.

The next time for a change was either if xz became inacceptable to use
for whatever reason, or if another compression method pops up that is
an improvement in as many factors as possible: Compression ratio,
(de-)compression memory and time usage, a few things more. The first
option seems highly unlikely to happen, and I doubt lzip would have a
good standing in the second. In the past, bzip2 was quite an
improvement over gzip, again lzma over bzip2 brought much better
compression ratio. These are numbers that make people switch. Also,
back then saving disk and bandwidth was more important than today, so
people were willing to trade compression time for this.

For me, lzip's only advantage is the better design. However, xz is not
that bad. The issues mentioned do not really affect the way Debian uses
the compressed data. Also I'm not aware of reports where xz caused
trouble *that* serious people strongly discourage from using it. After
almost ten years of xz in the wild, this should have happened. There
are some annoyances in xz, I might have been bitten by one of them as
well, but that's not a justification to look for alternatives.

Regarding the non-technical issues about lzip, Russ already provided
excellent statements last Friday. I have nothing to add.

    Christoph

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