Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I’m not sure about you but when I examine a new tool or package that I’m building from source I usually like to read the documentation first and perhaps examine the makefile or examine the output of “configure –help”. But I really want to do this without gunzip-ing and untarring the archive.
I also have the opposite problem in that I sometimes just want to grab various files and collect them into a .tar.gz archive without having to organize a complete tree and then tar it and gzip it. Ideally I would just have a directory where I could copy data and it would automatically create the archive for me. You can call me lazy of you like but I started computing when storage space was at a premium so I tend to be conservative with my disk space. At the same time, however, I tend to be a pack rat with code, which has saved my bacon several times. So I look for something that allows me to efficiently archive my data.
Of course there are many ways to scratch this itch, including creating a directory for storing data and running a cron job that creates an archive from the directory, or I could use SquashFS (one of my personal favorites) coupled with a cron job and symlinks to do something similar, but these approaches don’t exactly make my itch disappear and we all know that a small itch can become a rash pretty quickly.