Change to tarball generation?

Michael Pyne mpyne at
Wed May 23 03:48:25 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I noticed something while we were on the topic of tagging the beta tomorrow 
that I wanted to bring up, which is a concern with tarball generation. 
Specifically, the various parallizeable tarball generators (pixz, pbzip2) seem 
to generate extraneous data.

tar is smart enough to ignore this extra data, but this can affect 
decompressing our tarballs in a pipeline (i.e. xz --decompress | tar xf -), as tar closing its STDIN causes xz to write 
its excess data to a broken pipe.

This probably doesn't annoy a ton of different people (except for the obvious 
problem with source-based distros like Gentoo, e.g. but if the speedup is not very 
substantial it would be better to use xz or bzip2 to avoid the problem 

(This is done by adjusting the value of "compressors" in the pack release 
script in case you're wondering).

It might be possible to still get some concurrency benefit by batching up 
modules to "pack" and then running 4 or 8 (or however many CPUs are around) 
separate pack scripts at once, or fire off a pack while starting on tagging 
the next module, etc.

Thoughts? I'll be very clear that I don't think this should affect creating 
the beta tarballs at all but if we choose to avoid the parallelizing 
compressors hopefully that would be in time for the release candidates.

 - Michael Pyne
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