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Portability of tar features (gentoo.org)
101 points by echodevnull on Dec 1, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

Besides the supported tar features, bsdtar is definitely my favorite. With libarchive it supports all kinds of archive formats, so you can work on .zip and even .iso files with the usual command line interface.


yeah, bsdtar is my goto for dealing with archives for work projects, specifically dealing with unpacking iso's.

Words to strike fear into the heart of every programmer:

The tar format is one of the oldest archive formats in use. ... it is ugly — built as layers of hacks on the older format versions to overcome their limitations. ... This article is directly inspired by my proof-of-concept work on new binary package format

Somewhat famously, tar format is so bad, when kernel needed an compression format for initrd, they went with cpio: https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/filesystems/ramfs-r...

Quote: "tar is ugly as hell and not going to be supported on the kernel side"

This article was a great example of something that will never be useful to me, but I was still willing to sink an hour into digesting it. Fascinating read.

Python's stdlib module is coded in a rather messy way, but seems like it's actually one of the better implementations of tar-ish formats.

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