[arch-dev-public] RFC: (devtools) Changing default compression method to zstd

Gaetan Bisson bisson at archlinux.org
Mon Mar 25 00:33:23 UTC 2019

[2019-03-25 00:46:15 +0100] Morten Linderud via arch-dev-public:
> On Sun, Mar 24, 2019 at 04:39:54PM -0700, Andrew Gregory via arch-dev-public wrote:
> > I don't consider hoping that libarchive doesn't need a rebuild in the
> > near future a great strategy.  That being said, this is really
> > a question of how long of a period we need between libarchive v3.3.3
> > and us making the switch.  I'm not a packager, so I don't have much of
> > an opinion on that.
> Well, we pride ourselves with having competent users. I think waiting a year is
> conservative and safe. However, personally I think we can wait for the next
> pacman release and write an announcment. Then we give everyone a month to update
> and we can have a smooth transition. Assuming of course that everyone is
> on-board with this change. 

So far we all seem to agree it's a change for the better.

However your timeline is confused: we only need to wait for a new pacman
release to start building zstd-compressed packages; we can then push
them to the repos straight away, assuming users have had enough time to
update libarchive-3.3.3.

It's already been in [core] for more than six months. Traditionally we
wait a year before pushing changes that break backward compatibility.
That always seemed a bit extreme to me so I'd personally be fine with
doing the switch in a month or two with certain precautions:

- Post an announcement warning users they'll need libarchive-3.3.3 or
  higher a month from now and telling them to update if they haven't
  done so in the last six months.

- Prepare a static build of libarchive-3.3.3 compressed with xz and
  write a wiki page with detailed instructions on how to manually switch
  from an old system (for users who might want to switch even later).


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