"expert" mode and read-only features

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Tue Dec 9 12:22:42 CET 2003

On Tue, Dec 09, 2003 at 11:44:28AM +0200, Maxim Britov wrote:

> > > The idea of the read-only features is to have most actual used
> > > releases enabled to allow reading these option when eventually a
> > > new release can create such options.
> > 
> > I'm rather surprised at how well this has worked out.  When 1.2.2
> > added read-only SHA-256, I halfway expected a lot of people to
> > immediately patch around it.  For whatever reason it hasn't
> > happened (people don't actually care about SHA-256, don't
> > understand the code, do understand the code but want to be
> > conservative about hashes, etc) I'm pleased.
> I want to use bzip2 for archives.  Expert feature enable many
> fetures which may make incompatibility sign, key etc.  --expert for
> people who know.  I think most people won't use it.

In an ideal universe, the 1.2.x stable branch would never be changed
aside from bug fixes.  That's the whole meaning of stable: so people
don't have to be afraid that an "improvement" will cause some problem
in their environment.

Of course, we don't live in an ideal universe, but minimizing the
changes is still a good idea.  BZIP2 is not a bug or security fix.
It's there only to get a critical mass of installations that can read
BZIP2 before 1.4 comes out and people start writing BZIP2.

If you want to use BZIP2 today, you can either modify 1.2.4 (it's
literally a one line change), or use 1.3.x.


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