[isabelle] Disk usage in ~/.isabelle/contrib



Hi all,

The latest candidates for the upcoming Isabelle release contain some changes to reduce disk usage of heap images. So I
thought it might be a good time to ask other disk usage related questions. None of the below is intended to be
interpreted as a request for changes to the upcoming release; just questions seeking clarification.

When Isabelle detects that it is missing a component (Poly/ML, JDK, etc.) it fetches a tarball of this to
~/.isabelle/contrib and then decompresses it here. Each tarball contains necessary files for all supported platforms.
I.e. in the extreme, a component like Poly/ML contains subdirectories for 32-bit Linux, 64-bit Linux, 32-bit Mac OS,
64-bit Mac OS and 32-bit Cygwin. My question is, why is Isabelle fetching all these things that will remain unused on my
platform? Is this the result of a "disk space and bandwidth are free" mode of thought? Or a decision made for ease of
packaging? None of this is meant as a criticism, I would just like to understand the motivation(s).

My interest is driven by one of my machines where disk space *is* an issue. A quick scan of ~/isabelle/contrib reveals
2.7GB of files I could easily do without. A minimal first step to reducing this in future would seem to be to download
the tarballs to a temporary location, then delete them after decompressing. Is there a need for them to persist? Perhaps
there are some deeper issues I'm not aware of here.

Thanks,
Matt

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