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Re: Plan for release 2.29


Dear binutils maintainers,

(Please, CC me, as I am not subscribed).

Tristan Gingold wrote (http://sourceware.org/ml/binutils/2017-06/msg00216.html):
On 20/06/2017 15:00, Matthias Klose wrote:
gdb already uses xz compression for it's release tarballs and
compressed diffs. GCC was also changed to xz compressed tarballs
instead of bz2, but keeping gz compressed tarballs.  Could the same
be done for binutils?

Why not.

Because when GCC reluctantly[1] replaced bz2 with xz, Gerald Pfeifer recommended me[2] to keep pushing the strengths and advantages of lzip[3][4] to broaden its user base. But if binutils also starts offering xz tarballs, it will contribute to increase the bandwagon effect[5] which, as far as I can tell, is the main reason adduced to switch to xz[6].

Please, note that 'lzip -9' produces a tarball a 2% smaller than xz, in spite of lzip using half the RAM to compress and requiring half the RAM to decompress than xz:

-rw-r--r-- 1 19576763 Jul 24 12:41 binutils-2.29.tar.lz
-rw-r--r-- 1 20001232 Jul 24 12:41 binutils-2.29.tar.xz

Therefore, I politely request you to consider using lzip instead of xz as the third format for binutils tarballs.


[1] http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2017-06/msg00042.html
"And just to be clear, I actually don't like xz and I'm always annoyed when I run into something delivered in xz format. But xz support at the distro level is pretty ubiquitous at this point."

[2] http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2017-06/msg00069.html
[3] http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/xz_inadequate.html
[4] http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/lzip_benchmark.html#xz1

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwagon_effect
"As more people come to believe in something, others also "hop on the bandwagon" regardless of the underlying evidence."

[6] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/coreutils/2017-01/msg00011.html
"From personal experience, the only reason Cygwin started considering the inclusion of xz in the distro years ago was because the coreutils tarball came in xz; and now Cygwin uses xz for all of its distribution files (it used to use bz2)."


Thank you in advance,
Antonio.


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