[ESS] ess-17.11-tgz is not compressed

Martin Maechler m@ech|er @end|ng |rom @t@t@m@th@ethz@ch
Thu Dec 7 17:37:23 CET 2017

>>>>> Neil Shephard <nshephard using gmail.com>
>>>>>     on Tue, 5 Dec 2017 08:18:08 +0000 writes:

    > Hi, I've only just caught up on the update to ess-17.11
    > and went to install it using the Gentoo Linux package
    > management system portage.

    > It complained that the ess-17.11.tgz was not a compressed
    > archive and this appears to be true, its just a plain
    > tar-ball.

well, I'm managing the ess.r-project.org server and I have
actually mounted the file system where    ess-17.11.tgz  lives
and 'ls -l' and 'file' say

ls -l ess-17.11.tgz 
-rw-r--r--. 1 maechler sfsstaff 3275703 Nov 13 15:13 ess-17.11.tgz

file ess-17.11.tgz 
ess-17.11.tgz: gzip compressed data, last modified: Mon Nov 13 14:13:29 2017, from Unix

(and read on)

    > This means that when portage trys to unpack it based on
    > the file extension '.tgz' it tries to uncompress it, which
    > fails.

    > For now I've change the ebuild (the scripts which install
    > programmes under Gentoo/Linux) to use the ess-17.11.zip
    > but thought this worth reporting.  I include below
    > downloading the ess-17.11.tgz and attempting to
    > unzip/uncompress manually, what finally worked was
    > renaming to ess-17.11.tar and untar the archive.

    > Details of this are also on Gentoo Buzilla at
    > https://bugs.gentoo.org/639752

    > Regards,

    > Neil

Now look closely at the output of wget  -- which I can reproduce
in my (Fedora 26) Linux :

>  ~/tmp/ess $ wget http://ess.r-project.org/downloads/ess/ess-17.11.tgz
> --2017-12-05 08:12:09--
> http://ess.r-project.org/downloads/ess/ess-17.11.tgz
> Resolving ess.r-project.org...
> Connecting to ess.r-project.org||:80... connected.
> HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
> Length: 3275703 (3.1M) [application/x-tar]
> Saving to: ‘ess-17.11.tgz’
> ess-17.11.tgz
> 100%[===========================================================================================>]
>  3.12M  6.30MB/s    in 0.5s
> 2017-12-05 08:12:09 (6.30 MB/s) - ‘ess-17.11.tgz’ saved [8898560]

so indeed  wget  seems to do __silly!__ behave a bit magically
nowadays ... -- at least  being honest about it:

It gets a *.tgz of size  3275703 bytes (~ 3.1 M)
and internally uses gunzip absolutely with*OUT* saying so, 
but then honestly reports that the result is of size   8898560 bytes

I'm appalled.

Note one thing though:  For 2 year or so,
'tar' has become smart enough to "see" if it needs to uncompress
or not;
so for practical purposes, you nowadays can use

  tar xf <file>

and it will do the right thing if the file is compressed or not.

Martin Maechler
ETH Zurich

>  ~/tmp/ess $ gunzip ess-17.11.tgz

> gzip: ess-17.11.tgz: not in gzip format
>  ~/tmp/ess $ tar xzvf ess-17.11.tgz

> gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
> tar: Child returned status 1
> tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

>  ~/tmp/ess $ mv ess-17.11.tgz ess-17.11.tar
>  ~/tmp/ess $ tar xvf ess-17.11.tar
> ess-17.11/
> ess-17.11/.dir-locals.el
> ess-17.11/.gitignore
> ess-17.11/COPYING
> ess-17.11/ChangeLog


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