using bzip2 to compress man-pages

Ulrich Spoerlein q at
Fri Sep 23 01:10:37 PDT 2005

On Thu, 22.09.2005 at 18:15:17 -0400, Bob Johnson wrote:
> > Changing the default format for manpages has serious bikeshed potential.
> > While adding support for reading/writing bz2 compressed manpages is
> > certainly useful, I doubt the benefit of switching to bzip2 compressed
> > manpages.
> >
> > There are several points to consider:
> >
> > 1. I dont want to wait for my manpages to display, they have to be on
> > screen instantanously.
> You are already waiting.  FreeBSD by default uses gzip-compressed man
> pages.  The issue is whether to continue using gzip, or switch to
> bzip2.

Yes, I know. But bzip2 is almost always slower than gzip, especially on
lower end hardware. Increasing the time for decompression is not the way
to go IMHO. If you ever tried to read manpages on systems with a load of
20-30 you know what I'm talking about.

Now, I know to that there's more to manpages than just compression, so
ideally manpages would be simple text-files, but this would lose the
markup :(

Anyway, I'm not arguing, I'm not in charge. I'm sure I wouldn't notice
the speed difference on my current hardware anyway. But the size savings
are marginal too. Consider this:

% du -sh /usr/share/man /usr/local/man /usr/X11R6/man
 10M    /usr/share/man
 16M    /usr/local/man
5.5M    /usr/X11R6/man

And this is with 647 ports installed. Even if you could cut the size in
half, it would me a mere 15MB, there are better places to look for more
space :)

Ulrich Spoerlein
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Ok, which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."
didn't you understand?
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