Brandon D. Valentine brandon at
Thu Jul 22 13:32:32 PDT 2004

On Thu, Jul 22, 2004 at 09:55:30AM +0200, Harti Brandt wrote:
> GNU tar is unmaintained for several years now and I see no reason to
> restrict development because of an unmaintained ancient program.

Actually, they just made their first release since 1999 under new
maintainership a few months ago.  There were showstopping bugs in their
previous release related to indexing, yet most every free unix out there
was shipping it anyway and those of us who needed working indexing had
to run the last, untested alpha release left on and hope
it didn't blow up spectacularly.  I'm *very* glad to see someone develop
a BSD licensed competitor to GNU tar.  I'm not thrilled that such a
critical piece of software (GNU tar) went unmaintained with outstanding
bugs for five years.  On the upside, I think in those five years more
progress was made on GNU tar than GNU hurd.

Now that there is new GNU tar maintainership perhaps the bsdtar
maintainer might do well to contact them and make his case for switching
to a more efficient sparse archive format.  Perhaps we might arrive at a
common scheme between the two packages for disparate sparse archive
flags to indicate backwards compatible GNU tar-style sparse archives and
the more efficient bsdtar style ones.  Just a thought.

Brandon D. Valentine
brandon at                 
Pseudo-Random Googlism:  summer is to blame for everything

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