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Re: RPM roadmapping

On Thu, 2007-08-02 at 09:23 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> POSIX 2001 tar is an ugly horrible hack. What you have to understand
> is that cpio is a really elegant archive format attached to a truely
> braindead application (/bin/cpio) while tar is a mass of ugly multi-layered
> hacks heaped on each other with a nice application.
> For RPM the fact the internal format is cpio is a huge win for simple and
> clean code (remember the archive parser is security sensitive), and it has no
> weird padding issues to mess up signing. Erik picked cpio for the original
> rpm package manager for very good reasons.

What about extending the cpio format?  Something called cpio2, perhaps. 

The main problem with using cpio is that individual files have a limit
of 2GB (which isn't a problem in most cases, but it is a limit).  Why
not push a newer cpio format that changes all 16-bit and 32-bit records
to 64-bit (along with specifying endienness)?

Put that together with a command-line program that actually makes sense
(I spent more time learning how to use the stupid cpio application than
any other single task when working with deltarpms), and we may have
something that maintains the simplicity of the cpio format without the

I don't mind putting the application (and possibly a library) together
if there's some chance rpm will use it.


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