On Sat, 19 Jan 2002, Tobias Reif wrote:
> Mirabai Neumann wrote:
> > Should be no problem, as unzip is available on most systems.
> That's what I thought.
> > However, I'd 
> > prefer .tar.gz or even better .tar.bz2.
> Why? Are there any problems with .zip on Linux/Unix? What are the 
> advantages of .tar.gz?

The problem with .zip is that it was Not Invented Here (NIH).

Among the data compression enthusiasts some years ago, there was that
feature that was considered cool, the "unified archive". It's the concept
that if you want to trade access speed for more compression, some
archivers had the option of compressing a file archive instead of
archiving compressed files.

So several compressors implemented that feature, giving some more percents
over archives of many files, especially files of the same kind.

Guess what? with the .tar.gz format, it's the only choice you have. One
can brag all day long about how it's n% tighter than .zip, but in the
meanwhile there is no quick way to extract one file from a large .tar.gz,
and there are 42 archivers for DOS that can do both styles.

You are left with a lot of 80's UNIXers who really appreciate the
modularity in piping gzip output to tar input explicitly and would install
a non-gnu version tar just for the pleasure of enlightening a bunch of
lusers about the glory of UNIX-style modularity. "you really should type
gzip -d foo.tar.gz | tar xfz -, in two halves, as God intended."

Of those, actually a few are still in love with the older .tar.Z format,
which is the moral equivalent of still running SEA-ARC on a DOS box
(note: SEA-ARC was before PK-ARC; PK-ARC before PK-ZIP 0.9). The .Z versus
.gz argument boils down to which is perceived as easier: 1. licensing a
patent from Unisys; 2. surviving a herd of angry gnus.

Meanwhile, pragmatic sysadmins expect to install gzip, GnuTar, InfoZip,
and a few hundred other programs whenever faced with a naked installation
of [insert 90's unix brand here]. But InfoZip is mostly seen as a tool for
compatibility with "Inferior Operating Systems such as Windows".

________________________________________________________________
Mathieu Bouchard                   http://hostname.2y.net/~matju