Re: using bzip2 to compress man-pages

From: Mikhail Teterin (mi+mx_at_aldan.algebra.com)
Date: 09/22/05

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    To: Charles Swiger <cswiger@mac.com>, Ulrich Spoerlein <q@galgenberg.net>
    Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 16:52:53 -0400
    
    

    Ulrich Spoerlein wrote:
    > 1. I dont want to wait for my manpages to display, they have to be on
    > screen instantanously.

    A human being can not distinguish between a millisecond and a microsecond. The
    difference between gzcat and bzcat is far less dramatic.

    The space-saving potential can substantial, however -- see below. Being able
    to stick us useful root filesystem (with /usr) onto a USB key can be useful
    for some applications.

    It just makes sense -- and the CPUs are advancing faster than storage devices.

    Charles Swiger wrote:
    > My guess is that roughly 95% of the manpages aren't going to save a š
    > disk sector by switching.

    One does not need to save the entire sector-size. Only the (size %
    sector_size), which currently pushes the file into an additional sector.

    The following command line assumes, the sector size of 512 bytes and the bzip2
    vs. gzip saving of only 10%. Notice, it takes care to look once at every
    manual page even if it is has more than one alias (eliminating pages with the
    same inode). Try this on your system:

    % find /usr/share/man/ -name \*.gz -ls | sort -k 1 | awk '$1 == inode { next }
    { inode=$1; total++; if ($7 % 512 < $7*0.10) savings++ } END {print savings "
    out of " total}'
    1200 out of 2694

    1200 files out 2694... That's a little more than 5%...

    The other advantage is the stride towards freer-licensed software.

            -mi
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