I just tried <nocompress extension='' />, which translates to an empty string.
Checking the resulting .apk indeed results in uncompressed assets/resources.
Can you try that, then?
Yes, indeed when I posted I have tried already...
Which version of the SDK and NDK are you using? I have not seen any issues like you are describing with the latest versions of the toolchains.
Android SDK 22.3
Android SDK-Platform.Tools 19.0.1
Android SDK-Build-Tools 19.0.1
Android NDK r8b, with binutils updated to 2.22, as the 2.21 had issues:
/temp/residual_svn/build_android/android-toolchain/bin/../lib/gcc/arm-linux-androideabi/4.6.x-google/../../../../arm-linux-androideabi/bin/ld.exe: BFD (GNU Binutils) 2.21 assertion fail /usr/local/google/home/andrewhsieh/ndk-andrewhsieh/src/build/../binutils/binutils-2.21/bfd/elf32-arm.c:10180
I looked at NDK r9c but it changed a lot internally. In the first trial it broke scummvm build system and as I only needed an updated link utility I borrowed the toolchain only.