[Haskell-cafe] Compressing GHC tarballs with LZMA

Leon Smith leon.p.smith at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 16:23:58 EDT 2010

Out of curiousity,  I downloaded a binary distribution for GHC-6.12.2,
 and tried compressing and recompressing it with bzip2 and lzma
compression,  using no command line arguments (all default parameters)

file:  http://haskell.org/ghc/dist/6.12.2/ghc-6.12.2-x86_64-unknown-linux-n.tar.bz2

                    bzip2  lzma
size                106M   72M
compression time    2:01   9:51
decompression time  0:25   0:12

the time is reported as  "minutes:seconds".   At it default
compression level,  lzma was almost five times slower than bzip2,  but
it's approximately twice as fast when decompressing and produced a
file nearly a third smaller.   Given that many modern variants of the
"tar" command support .tar.lzma files directly,  and that both
debian's dpkg and red hat's rpm now use lzma,   maybe it's time to
consider offering .tar.lzma as a download option for GHC's binary (and
maybe source-code) bundles.


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