Re: Is "untar" an acceptable verb?

Subject: Re: Is "untar" an acceptable verb?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:34:17 -0400

On Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:07:10 -0400, Jeff Scattini <jeff -dot- scattini -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

I started a new contract a little while ago, and the software in question
can be delivered by TAR (.tgz) files.

Is the term "untar" acceptable the same way you can "unzip" a collection of
files? A quick search in Google seems to suggest that it is acceptable, but
I wanted to throw the question to a TARgeted (sorry) audience of techwr-lrs.

I normally use
gunzip and
tar -xf
separately, but I believe you can also use
tar -zxf

There is no "untar" command.

The history of tar is in making and restoring tape archives. In the early days of Unix the only feasible backup or transport medium was magnetic tape, but tape is a very poor medium upon which to build a random-access file system. With the exception of DECtape, tape is really a sequential-access medium. Seeking a particular block of data on a tape generally required rewinding to the beginning and counting forwards.

Tar provided a means for creating a representation of a Unix file system on tape, and the default output (or input) was the tape drive. The "-f" option in tar allows the specification of a file instead of the tape. Since "tar" was an action on tapes, there was no concept of tarring and untarring. Instead the fundamental actions were to create (-c), to append (-r), and to extract (-x) file images on the tape.

On the other hand, if you say "untar" any Dilbert is likely to understand precisely what you mean. He may sort of laugh up his sleeve at your choice of words.

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Is "untar" an acceptable verb?: From: Jeff Scattini

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