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[Lzip-bug] Re: performance: gzip, lzip, xz

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: [Lzip-bug] Re: performance: gzip, lzip, xz
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:15:28 +0200

Antonio Diaz Diaz wrote:
> By contrast xz is an experiment without a clear goal, (with its not yet
> fully implemented archiver-like format and filters), as proved by its
> four years of development without a stable version. Experiments are
> good, but not for general use.

Claiming that xz has no clear goal seems mildly libelous.

The .xz format is in no way an archive-like format. You cannot store
file names in .xz, and .xz supports even less metadata than .gz.

Regarding the possibility of recovery, there are not many differences
between .xz and .lz.  .xz has an index of compressed blocks, which might
sometimes allow better recovery than .lz, but as I see it, neither
format can be said to have an advantage here.  However, lzip does have
a recovery tool already, and XZ Utils does not.

> Lzip offers maturity, (it is only a reimplementation of a well tested
> algorithm), reliability, simplicity and long term stability.

Claiming long-term stability of the .lz format is a stretch.
The file format has changed at least once (probably twice, but I'm
not sure) since the first stable release.  Older versions of lzip
cannot decompress new format files.  The same can and (I'm sure) will
happen with .xz too, but in case of .lz, it has been about adding basic
features that .xz had in the first place.

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