Although modern computer systems have an ever-increasing storage capacity, the growth in the amount of data being produced is unrelenting. Lossless compression algorithms make up for some of the shortfall in capacity by trading time spent compressing or decompressing data for the space needed to store it. Python includes interfaces to the most popular compression libraries so it can read and write files interchangeably.
zlib (page 477) and
gzip (page 486) expose the GNU zip library, and
bz2 (page 491) provides access to the more recent bzip2 format. Both formats work on streams of data, without regard to input format, and provide interfaces for reading and writing compressed files transparently. Use these ...