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Re: Fw: [Groff] [groff/patch] transparent gzip

From: Mark Veltzer
Subject: Re: Fw: [Groff] [groff/patch] transparent gzip
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 15:35:30 +0300

Hash: SHA1

On Sunday 25 August 2002 15:03, you wrote:
> Hmmm... Why do you want to start an endless cycle of featurism? It is bad
> enough already that you need libtiff, libjpg, libpng, libz, ghostscript and
> netpbm installed to be able to process anything into HTML. These packages
> are usually installed in a Linux or a free BSD distro, but not in
> commercial unices (which include MacOSX, btw).

It may sound harsh to you but I really don't care that much for commercial 
UNIX vendors. They sucked my money. Split the OS that I love and poured the 
holy crowning oil over Bill Gates. Why should I owe them anything ? It's not 
like I'm suggesting to pick a library which deliberately won't compile on 
AIX... They'll be able to compile it just the same. So It's a little extra 
work for them. Good. They made the mistake of choosing a commercial UNIX and 
they need to understand that it has drawbacks. Severe drawbacks. NOT choosing 
such a solution is keeping the Linux wagon riding slower because the other 
wagons are not moving at all which is even a worse solution. MS is not 
standing still because "it doesn't run on AIX".

MacOSX is in my opinion the worst case of theft in the computer industry. I 
don't want to even consider it. It is just a BSD licensing error. Grave 
error. But hey - I'm all for the right of the BSD folk to use whatever 
license they want - that doesn't mean that I need to consider MacOSX when I 
make my own descisions. And as far as I'm concerned - it can be a library 
that doesn't compile on MacOSX.

> Having compressed man pages is a convenience that can be justified only if
> you had very limited disk space, where you can consider justifiable that
> the extra CPU time wasted decompressing the files before feeding them to
> nroff is worth the space saved. If you examine the sources of the man
> application used in Linux, you'll discover it was written in those times
> where a DECstation 5000, with 78Mb RAM and a 500 Mb hard drive was US$23000
> (yes, three zeroes) a pop; that wasn't that long ago (11 years to be exact,
> free man is a lot older, 1885 I think).

You are very wrong. RedHat compressed manual pages because it's FASTER to 
show them that way. Because disks are MUCH slower than the cpu it turns out 
that is cheaper (in absolute time) to get a smaller file from the disk and do 
the decompression. Check it out yourself if you don't believe me. You do 
waste CPU so if you have a lot of other things running you may suffer - but 
hey - if you have a lot of other things running these things are also 
probably making your disk serve requests a lot slower so you'll still get 
poorer performance from non compressed files. Please test this. I have. Lots 
of times. I always store files in compressed format.

> In this hysteric times, when hard-drives are one US dollar per gigabyte, 80
> GB hard-drives are the norm and CPUs with hardware clocks slower than 1.3
> Gigahertz are obsolete, talking about the supposed need to compress man
> pages seems pointless to me.

Again, this is not about disk size at all... It's about speed (and if do get 
the speed benefit - then why waste the disk space...? You get both ends of 
the stick...).

> _______________________________________________
> Groff maillist  -  address@hidden

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