A twisted little joke

I mentioned a week or two ago that I upgraded my Thinkpad from Crux 2.5 to 2.6 the hard way, manually recompiling all the new software versions, much like a regular update. I never mentioned however, that four or five of the applications kept failing to build.

The fun part was trying to find out why. I stomped through the logs and discovered that all the failed packages had source files compressed with .tar.xz extensions. Well, that was a new one on me, but I’m also noteworthy for overlooking important changes like that, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Fair enough — if the source files need xz archive support, I shall install this mysterious new xz, and go right back to cooking up new software.

And that’s when I discovered this.

# Description: Compression utility using the lzma algorithm, successor of lzma-utils
...
name=xz
version=4.999.9beta
source=(http://tukaani.org/xz/$name-$version.tar.xz)
...

Oh, the hilarity that ensued: an application that requires itself to decompress its own source code. It’s like a little joke of sorts.

Or maybe the joke was on me, since I knew of no other way of decompressing a .tar.xz file, and had to sit there and scratch my head for a little while, feeling rather dim-witted. I took the obvious and easy way out, by inserting the Crux 2.6 CD and installing xz as a package, rather than recompiling it.

And of course, from there, upgrading went fine. Still, I found it somewhat amusing that without having the program installed, I couldn’t decompress the source files to install the program. Catch-22-ish, if I may say so. :mrgreen:

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5 thoughts on “A twisted little joke

  1. bryan

    A rather long time ago, I downloaded a pirated version of WinRAR only to realize after the download finished that I had downloaded winrar.rar. I felt extremely stupid and have stuck with free alternatives ever since :/

    Reply
    1. ArmorNick

      Why pirate winrar? Its trial period never ends ;)
      That said, I always use 7z when using windows.

      Reply
      1. bryan

        Honestly, I don’t recall why I was downloading the pirated version, though this was before the widespread use (or possibly even before the first release) of 7zip which is now my favorite compression program (despite its horrendous interface)

        Reply

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