Issue #1478 has been updated by Hongli Lai.


I too am somewhat doubtful about the usefulness of a Ruby Archive format. If it's just distributing a bunch of files in a single file then you can already do that with tar.gz/zip/exe/msi/deb/rpm. People are already used to decompressing archives so I don't think you will win a lot of usability by introducing a Ruby Archive format.

However I think there's another legit use case for a Ruby Archive format that might have been overlooked: improving cold startup performance. A typical Rails app needs to load tons of rb files from disk. This leads to a lot of disk seeking. On NFS this is even more painful. We have a client that stores their Rails app files on NFS file servers and starting up a single Rails app worker can take half a minute thanks to all the I/O. If you can bundle all rb files in the same file, which is compressed but has an uncompressed index, then you can improve cold startup performance of the Rails app by many times. I've experimented with this about 2 years ago with zip files and and it sped up cold startup performance by a factor of 5, though warm startup performance suffered a little. I found that zip files were not adequate because their table of contents are not sorted so to lookup a single file you need to linearly scan through the entire table of contents. A new format will probab!
 ly have to be introduced for maximum performance.
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