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Re: [tlug-digest] Re: [tlug] JPG & GIF Issue


> The subject of compression ratios, and copying files.  The only effect
> it has outside of a graphics viewer is file size.

Right, and having thought about it a few seconds more:

What is a file? It's just a named collection of bytes with a specified 
location and size. As users, we normally assume that those bytes 
represent some sort of meaningful entity (image, text file, program, 
database, whatever), but even that is not required--i.e. you can 
generate a bunch of random bytes and save them to a file. It may be 
useless, but it's just as much a file as anything else you have on your 
hard disk.

Further, when you compress a file, you are simply encoding the same 
information in fewer bytes with different values. But there is no way 
that the content or the file format or any compression algorithm can 
affect the nature of a byte. A byte is a byte is a byte, so as far as 
normal file utilities are concerned all that matters is the location and 
size of that collection of bytes that we call a file.

Now it's conceivable that someone has created a file manager that would, 
by way of saving you from yourself, make decisions about files based on 
higher-level characteristics (type of file, apparent brokenness, etc.). 
But even if such an abomination exists, I doubt any mainstream Linux 
distribution would accept it as a standard tool (and SuSE is certainly 
mainstream in my book). So the idea of compression affecting 
copiability, even indirectly, remains farfetched.

Matt Gushee
Englewood, CO, USA

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