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From Bill Burton <>
Subject Re: Installing ant
Date Tue, 20 Mar 2001 13:44:47 GMT

Peter Donald wrote:
> At 08:45  19/3/01 -0500, Bill Burton wrote:
> >Hello,
> >
> >In all the conversation with the problems using tar, the thought occurred
> >to me, "What about cpio?"
> I don't use cpio but is the options standard. ie Would an admin imediately
> know how to extract them ? If so .... all it needs is someone to contribute
> a cpio task ;)

Yes, the options for cpio are standard or at least for the usual ones that I
specified in my last message.  But I don't know how many people use cpio
other than administrators.  For some reason unknown to me, tar has become
the defacto standard for UNIX software distribution despite its technical
limitations with the 100 character limit.  I guess most applications never
ran into that limit until Java came along.

If Ant were to support cpio, it would for now have to execute a native cpio
unless someone knows of (or is willing to write) a Java implementation.  The
cpio on Linux is a GNU version which has been around for years.  Given the
issues with the ASL vs. GPL, it would be better to base an all-Java
implementation on some other version.  For now, I think the effort would be
better spent making Ant's tar work better, i.e. supporting the Solaris
extensions.  How do other UNIX OS vendors support long names in tar?

Going forward, a better solution might be to have a self-extracting .jar
distribution for Ant where you would "run" the jar file causing it to
extract itself then executing a chmod +x on any scripts it knows about.  The
next logical thing would be simple extensions to the jar task making it
easier for people to create their own self-extracting jars.  This could then
become the basis for an Ant based software installation and configuration


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