Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zipping up tighter

I've recently been creating a lot of zip files. Now, for this purpose the output has to be a regular zip file - readable by all the zip tools out there, including older versions and the jar utility. Change format and you can get better compression, for sure, but you're not compatible with all the existing tools. That rules out the bzip2 support in newer versions of zip and unzip, as well.

To create a zipfile with the zip command is basically:

zip -9 -q -r input_files ...

Now, p7zip can also create zip files (and others) that are absolutely compatible.

7za a -tzip -mx=9 -mfb=256 input_files ...

On my test data, this gives an additional 4% over the best that zip can do. Might not sound much, but on a CD-sized iso image that's an additional 30M of data you can squeeze in.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Tribblix 0m4 - wake up and smell the coffee

For Tribblix, I don't have a formal development or release schedule.

What I do have is a set of targets or Milestones, which may be features, software, or part of the build process. What I don't have is any dates associated with these, or any specific order in which they might get worked on.

As a rough summary of the milestones so far:

  • Milestone 0 simply proved that I could make a distribution that worked
  • Milestone 1 added Xfce
  • Milestone 2 used packages from an Illumos build, rather than indirectly via OpenIndiana
  • Milestone 3 added Enlightenment E17, went up to gcc 4.7.2 as the base compiler, and included LZ4 compression for ZFS
I've now made the Milestone 4 build available for download. The new feature here is that java is available, courtesy of OpenJDK.

This allows me to include the other tools I've developed, JKstat, KAR, JProc, and SolView as part of the distribution.

Time to put the kettle on and enjoy the coffee.