Re: .deb format: let's use 0.939, zstd, drop bzip2
- Date: Thu, 9 May 2019 00:02:26 +0200
- From: Adam Borowski <kilobyte@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: .deb format: let's use 0.939, zstd, drop bzip2
On Wed, May 08, 2019 at 10:35:58PM +0200, Ansgar wrote:
> Adam Borowski writes:
> > I've recently did some research on how can we improve the speed of unpacking
> > packages. There's a lot of other stages that can be improved, but let's
> > talk about the .deb format.
> > First, the 0.939 format, as described in "man deb-old". While still being
> > accepted by dpkg, it had been superseded before even the very first stable
> > release. Why? It has at least two upsides over 2.0:
> Switching to a different binary format will break various tools.
The 0.939 format is already supported by most tools.
No one sane digs into insides of the format, using a small number of
low-level tools, thus we can reuse it with little effort.
Of course, adding a new compressor _does_ break compat, but we added four
compressors to 2.0 over the years already, and the sky didn't fall.
> If we want to do this, I wonder if we shouldn't take the chance to move
> away from tar?
Any seekable format significantly reduces compression, although this can
be reduced by managing split points.
> We have various applications that only want to extract single members of
> the package (changelog, NEWS, copyright, ...); tar is a really bad
> format for such an operation. Other formats (zip, 7z, ...) are more
> suited for them.
Perhaps such files could be considered metadata and moved to the control
tarball? Or merely just moved forward -- remember that tarballs are
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