Re: RFC: Adding zlib dependency to libgio

On Sun, 2009-11-08 at 12:01 +0100, Martin Nordholts wrote:
> On 11/08/2009 10:54 AM, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> > I've been working on some API for gio (more details later) that involves
> > having an API for (de)compression. Having this as a public API makes
> > zlib a mandatory dependency for libgio (and thus the glib tarball).
> Hi,
> Will there some kind of plug-in architecture so it is possible to add
> say .bz2 and .z7 support to the GIO level? If so, couldn't the zlib
> dependency also be made optional? Not that I see a problem with a
> mandatory zlib dependency.

The API in question includes compression and decompression as streams
(among other things), and is pluggable. Code to do automatic detection
of compression type could easily be added.

However, having some level of support being guaranteed (i.e. a mandatory
dependency) has additional value that something being pluggable doesn't.
For instance you could distribute zlib compressed data (as file or
linked into your app) and depend on all glib installations being able to
decompress that data. It also means you can e.g. design file formats
based on a specific compression algorithm and never run into issues with
some platform not having what is needed to read the file.

Plugin-based optional compression support is basically only useful for
best-effort decompression of "unimportant" document files. Thats
obviously nice to have, but not as important as reliable compression

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