I've changed the sdist command some time ago, so it uses the sdtilb tarfile module, instead of the "tar" command, meaning that we could switch to the tar format under windows by default as well now, not requiring the "tar" program anymore
But some people may prefer the zip format.
What are your opinion on this ?
My preferences is for .zip (that is what I use for my packages), the main reason is that Windows users can always unpack a .zip file. Often that is not true for .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 files.
This reference is ancient, but the argument is valid, IMO: http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives2/some_notes_on_the_building_of_codezoo...
... Where there were multiple versions available, we chose the most recent, stable version and made that the default. Where there were multiple packages, we chose the Zip format (which is widely available on any platform) and got rid or tar.gz, tar.bz, .exe, and everything else we could. If there were many parts of the component, we defaulted to the one file that gave the user the most value in a single download. Other files, versions, and packages fell to the bottom of the page -- available for the users that absolutely need it, but far from distracting for the users that just want to get their work done. Reducing choices makes the site more useful, not less. ...
The tradeoff is that .zip files are compressed as well. But I don't believe that difference in compression size between .zip/.tar.gz/.tar.bz2 is that big of a concern in *most* cases because most Python sdist's are small, are they not?