Re: distribution issues - moving zlib into HDF5...

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Elena Pourmal <epourmal@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> Hi Ed,
> Zlib is optional for HDF5. We intentionally didn't put zlib with HDF5
> source as we did many years ago for HDF4.

Yes, I can see that.

> Are you talking about source code or binary distribution?

Source code.

> Would it be possible for you to make zlib optional for NetCDF-4? Could
> you explain more about shared libraries problem?

Would it be possible? Yes.

Would it be desirable? I don't think so.

The problem with making it optional is that then someone can easily
produce a netCDF-4 file that won't be readable is some places because
zlib is not built into netcdf-4 somewhere.

(That is, a user with zlib-enabled netCDF-4 can create the file, and
send it to someone without zlib in netCDF-4, who would then be unable
to read it. And would then send me a support email for me to
handle. In which I will tell him to build netCDF-4 with zlib. So why
not save all that trouble, and *always* build netCDF-4 with zlib?)

What is the benefit if *not* having zlib installed? It is tiny and
easy to include. Leaving it out gains nothing that I can see.

Right now, netCDF-4 *requires* that HDF5 be built with zlib. I am
trying to get a configuration tarball together to support that.

Unless someone can present a very good reason for doing so, I don't
see why there should be two versions of netCDF-4 out there, one with,
and one without zlib.

So the question becomes: how to get one tarball to work for netCDF-4,
including zlib. The easiest way would be in HDF5 included zlib, and I
may have to hack the HDF5 configuration to do this in the case of the
netCDF-4 master tarball.

But it would be so much easier if this was done at HDF5 HQ, instead of
my me in my garage...

Ed Hartnett  -- ed@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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