Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software

.ZIP Standard to Fragment? 627

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the after-so-many-years dept.
fudgefactor7 writes "As IDG.NET tells us, the venerable .ZIP compression standard is about to undergo a bit of a schism. PKWare and WinZip, the "big two" in the .ZIP format biz are (unfortunately) going to be making their respective releases incompatible (to an extent) and an archive made with one may not be accessible from another. The problem lies with PKWare not giving information to WinZip, thus making WinZip to go it alone."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

.ZIP Standard to Fragment?

Comments Filter:
  • More importantly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:03PM (#6162195) Homepage Journal

    What will my unix *zip programs be compatible with?
    • by jat850 (589750) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:05PM (#6162224)
      Should be compatible with all of them:

      Neither PKWare nor WinZip encrypt archived files by default. This means the vast majority of .zip files will probably continue to adhere to the old, universal format for the foreseeable future.

      So it sounds like the only change is in the encryption methods used in each program.
      • by pir8garth (674943)
        Correct...most users that want encryption probably do so after the fact, and thus the mainstream application of using zips shouldn't be effected. The only issue here that I see is if people, or more specifically companies agree to encrypt zip files for security purposes, they must make sure that a standard program is choosen/used to prevent corrupt file confusion.
      • by archen (447353)
        "encryption" regarding Winzip is practically a joke. Just look up information on how to password crack a zip archive and typically they talk about how Winzip left "hooks" which makes breaking the encryption far faster. I've actually seen quite a few articles on encryption, citing Winzip's implementation as an example of how to botch encryption.

        On the other hand PKWare's method isn't so great either. I've generally gone to using IZArc which can encrypt files using 256bit AES.
      • by mnmn (145599)
        If they do make themselves incompatible, a third party will come along, incorporate both compressions and will win the market. Will you buy Winzip and have some files not open? Or download some other from sourceforge that will open any zip files.

        And come to think of it, what further changes are they planning anyway? The zip format is very much standard and making something new that cant open zip files will not work, nor will compressing files in a format in which most unzippers will fail. The market itself
    • by kindbud (90044) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:18PM (#6162397) Homepage
      What will my unix *zip programs be compatible with?

      Zip.
    • Well, I heard that the new encrypted zip archives from PkWares program will have a new extension, .piz
    • by cshark (673578) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:13PM (#6163006)
      That's a real shame. I thought the zip specification was open to anyone who wanted to use it? I stopped using Zips about three months ago in favor of the 7zip format. 7zips are smaller and more secure. The best part about 7z's is that it's an open source format. Fully documented, and entirely free. They also tend to be a lot smaller than standard .zip archives. Just an opinion.
    • by artemis67 (93453) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:27PM (#6163158)
      What will my unix *zip programs be compatible with?

      If PKWare suddenly closes their format, and if WinZip keeps theirs open, then it looks like WinZip will win by default.

      It seems that we've been down this road countless times before. The way to win marketshare in the tech sector is to keep things open and allow other companies to champion your standard for you.
  • The post was a little hyped. PKWare and WinZip only split on the encryption of the Zip file. I for one have long since encrypted Zip files with PGP when I needed that security. Zip encryption has always been a joke, and I doubt that too many are going to replace what ever trusted methods they have come up with for PKWare or WinZip's new method.

    It is too bad that they split, but I use Zip files for compression not encryption. The compression is still cross-compatible, so life will go on.
    • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:06PM (#6162234) Homepage Journal

      I for one have long since encrypted Zip files with PGP when I needed that security

      PGP zips files before encrypting them. At least older versions did. See this page [rasip.fer.hr]
      • by WD (96061) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:27PM (#6162490)
        Yeah, but don't forget one of the main advantages of using zip... It'll join multiple files into one archive.
      • by Phantasmo (586700) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:58PM (#6162817)
        Yup, still does. It uses code from Info-ZIP [info-zip.org] (so GPG probably uses zlib, same thing) to compress the file before encrypting: a compressed file is, in theory, non-repetitive data and is therefore less crack-able.

        So, try tar or compress-less zip to package up a bunch of files and then encrypt with PGP/GPG.
    • Zip encryption has always been a joke, and I doubt that too many are going to replace what ever trusted methods they have come up with for PKWare or WinZip's new method.
      That's funny, I seem to recall that PKZIP had support for strong encryption (3DES, RC2, RC4, etc. using digital certificates and/or a passphrase) quite a while ago (since version 5.0).
    • by Surak (18578) * <surak@nOsPaM.mailblocks.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:14PM (#6162346) Homepage Journal
      WinZip and PKZip are ALREADY incompatible in some areas.

      From Pkware's web store [pkzipstore.com]:
      # Virtually Unlimited .ZIP File Size allows for .ZIP files exceeding 4-gigabyte archive limitation of other .ZIP products; create archives in excess of a terabyte in size!
      # More Files-per-archive allows a practically unlimited number of files files per .ZIP file â" greatly exceeding the 65,535 compressed files limit of other .ZIP products.


      These two limitations used to appear in old versions of PKZip (2.04G and earlier), and still appear in the open-source (BSD license) Info-ZIP utilities, upon which WinZip is based. Thus for large zip files, WinZip and PKZip are already incompatible (i.e., WinZip doesn't support anything larger than 4GB, and supports a max of 65,535 files inside a Zip file -- WinZip will NOT read these files). I think there's also a mention of new compression methods not supported by WinZip as well, but I couldn't seem find it again.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:19PM (#6162404)
        anybody hitting those limits is a lamer or a file sharing pirate, probably both. kids these days. thank god for the mpaa and the riaa.
        • by Surak (18578) * <surak@nOsPaM.mailblocks.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:30PM (#6162515) Homepage Journal
          Um, I've hit those limits before and I am neither. I've had to move *large* amounts of CAD data over FTP, and ZIPping or tarballing all the files down is the only practical way. Tarballing is fine until some you have to send it to some lame Windows user who complains he can't open it because WinZip insists on ungzipping a tarball to a tar file in a temporary directory first, rather than streaming it as happens on *nix with 'gzip -dc foo.tar.gz | tar xvf -'

      • by klui (457783)
        Under HPUX 10.20/11.x all you need to do is recompile Info-ZIP with a flag and it will support large files. Never had bumped into max number of files before.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Zip encryption has always been a joke,

      espically now. I recoeverd 3 Zip files last week from an employee's laptop who was "let go" and "forgot" what the password was.

      Most of the zip cracking apps on the net are trivial and quite powerful when you put a 3ghz P4 behind it.
  • Reverse engineering? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Karamchand (607798)
    What about reverse engineering? If hordes of *nix programmers can do it why can't Winzip do it? Legal issues? ...?
    Thanks for any insight!
    • by siskbc (598067) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:11PM (#6162311) Homepage
      What about reverse engineering? If hordes of *nix programmers can do it why can't Winzip do it? Legal issues? ...?

      Can I get a D?!?!
      D!!!
      Can I get an M?!?!
      M!!!
      Can I get a C?!?!
      C!!!
      Can I get an A?!?!
      A!!!

      What's that spell!?!?
      Tyranny!
      What's that spell!?!?
      Bunch of assholes in Congress!
      What's that spell!?!?
      Lack of Innovation!

      Dunno if either side would be big enough assholes to try it, but why couldn't you use DMCA there?

      • W - R - O - N - G (Score:3, Informative)

        by FallLine (12211)
        The DCMA explicitly allows reverse engineering for interoperability and this is precisely what WinZip would be doing. http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf, Page 5, Exception #2. Please read it for yourseld and grab a clue. The tired assertion that the DCMA kills innovation is tired and largely false (at least insofar as it is popularly presented on slashdot)
        • by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:08PM (#6162945) Journal
          Actually the DMCA does NOT allow reverse engineering of security mechanisms... like oh... pkware Encryption algorithms...
        • The DCMA explicitly allows reverse engineering for interoperability

          The DMCA explicitly allows you to go broke defending against frivolous lawsuits, trying to educate the judicial system about what constitutes interoperability.

          After all, if it is compatible with the new format, then you must have stolen intellectual property, violated a trade secret, or done some other dastardly deed. After all, the proof of your crimes is obvious and evident: it goes against the wishes of a corporation.
        • Uh huh (Score:3, Interesting)

          by siskbc (598067)
          Tell that to lexmark. I understand what the DMCA was trying to do but that's a shitload different from the way the DMCA is getting implemented.

          Anyone who assumes that the way a law is written is the same as its implementation, or better yet, its ability to be used as a legal bludgeon, REALLY needs to get a clue.

    • Probably DMCA issues, right?
  • *sigh* (Score:3, Funny)

    by Vengeance (46019) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:04PM (#6162210)
    boys, boys, boys... Let's all stop the fussin' and a feudin'

    I LOVE you Winzip!
    I LOVE you, PKZip!

    *hugs all around*

    There, isn't that better?
  • by StillAnonymous (595680) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:04PM (#6162212)
    I'm hoping that WinZip changes the file extension for their new format to make it clear to anyone who gets ahold of such a file that it is not a standard Zip file.

    And how much time will it be before someone just writes a program that handles both formats natively? RAR, ACE, and all the other compressors already do handle Zip file just fine.
    • by H0ek (86256) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:11PM (#6162318) Homepage Journal
      Hey, perhaps they can use the extension .WIP

      Seems to accurately reflect the idea that WinZip is still a Work In Progress, eh?
    • The point, I believe, is that even WinZip *would* follow the same format, if they possibly *could*. Therefore, no, other programs aren't going to be able to handle PKWare's version, either.

      So, in actuality, it sounds like perhaps PKWare is setting themselves up to no longer *be* the standard. Putting out a product incompatible with the others isn't going to help them win friends and influence people, not when most everybody I know is using the Winzip product. I myself haven't even looked at PKWare since
      • Just use WinRAR. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BoomerSooner (308737) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:22PM (#6162429) Homepage Journal
        It does ZIP, ACE, RAR, ...
        tar zxvf
        gzip

        What else exists?

        Oh yea I forgot .sit (I love the fact that OS X has tar.gz built in) Hell I never send Mac friends .sit files. tar.gz all the way baby!
        • The whole point of this story is that PKWare is doing some kind of encryption thing that they aren't sharing with others. So only PKWare's zip program will support said encryption. It isn't just WinZip that won't. WinRAR will still support zip the way it has, sure. But it won't support the new encryption deal.

          So switching doesn't do a hell of a lot of good unless you switch to theirs. Which is probably the plan, I guess.
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:04PM (#6162213) Homepage
    Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep using WinRAR.
  • Sounds a lot like the original riff in ARC that lead directly to ZIP in the first place (I know the exact circumstances are different, but the similarities are quite interesting). Yes, I'm that old :)
  • Yeah, I'll keep on using Winrar. It'll probably be able to read them both in a month.
  • Come on now, Winzip, why not just drop the whole .zip compression altogether and do .rar instead? Not only is it much better, but you could very easily change your name from Winzip to Winra... oh, wait [rarlabs.com]...

  • by Skyshadow (508) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:07PM (#6162246) Homepage
    While this is a Bad Thing from an open-standards standpoint, does anyone actually use the security features on zip? I'd think anyone concerned enough to protect their archives would want to use a serious encryption format.

    So, if a fork occurs in a feature which nobody uses, does it make a sound?

    • by CharlieG (34950) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:11PM (#6162978) Homepage
      yep, and for a stupid reason

      The company firewall will not allow certain kinds of files though (read things like source code and exes) - fair enough, but even if you zip the file, the block it. This not only occurs through the firewall, but inside the company too. So when we want to send a file, we zip with encryption. They can't open it to see what is inside, so they let it through
    • by twitter (104583) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @03:00PM (#6163510) Homepage Journal
      So, if a fork occurs in a feature which nobody uses, does it make a sound?

      It does when the company in question starts dumping product and people start using it. Just let them promote the useless feature and wait for the ass pains to set in. If they are dumping a "client" ala Adobe PDF, people can say, "Don't complain, the client is free." Ugh, at least Adobe released file specs.

      If a company decides to go 20 years retro and create a new non free file format, that's just one more dumb format to get in the way. You would hope that people knew better by now, but they don't. Witness the growing popularity of M$.DOC, the dumbest way to exchange text ever.

  • Not that serious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:07PM (#6162252) Homepage
    This is only related to the encryption. Those of us who have been using winzip for a long time will remember that winzip never used to handle multiple part zips, so if you wanted to handle them you had to point winzip at a "real" pkzip. I will be very suprised if the same system doesn't occur here. Also who is going to use zip's build in encryption anyway?
  • I guess I'll have to just keep using tar and gzip. Many apologies to the late Phil Katz....
  • PKWare vs. WinZip? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by micromoog (206608) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:07PM (#6162261)
    Goodbye PKWare.
  • they will both still be compatible with whatever format M$ is now using natively .. which means they will still be compatible with one another .. which means this is a non-issue ..

    In fact the last paragraph of the article states that this is a non-issue ...
    • Re:non issue .. (Score:5, Informative)

      by afidel (530433) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:17PM (#6162386)
      you would think so from the article, but reality so far has shown differently. I have already run into two instances where someone using the beta copy of winzip9 used the new format by accident and those people using pkware or xp's built in zip readers could not read the file because of some header issue or something like that. Once they rezipped the file with the winzip8 option (aparantly that's what they did as both posts said something to that effect) no one had a problem reading the file. I hope that whatever issue is causing this is removed before the release version.
  • by jdhutchins (559010) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:08PM (#6162273)
    How much does this really matter? First of all, I bet most people are still using their unregestered shareware winzip from ages ago. Most people know that the zip encryption is pretty much worthless, so they don't bother. The people who want an encrypted zip file are probably going to encrypt it with a quality encryption program, such as gpg or pgp, AFTER they have it zipped. The person on the other end unencrypts it and then opens it. I know the article said "95% of the time it'll work", but I bet it will be more like "It'll work 99.9999% of the time".
    Also, the basic format isn't changing. It's just the encryption part, so zip files will still be usuable by nearly everyone.
    • Ah! Somone understands.

      I use the "trial" version of Winzip (You've been using this for 683 days! This isn't free!) and since I *never* compress and I only uncompress when I download a new Quake/HL mod, its no biggie which utility I use.

      I think this entire thing is getting blown *way* out of perspective. At risk of being repetetetive and a noing:

      Who gives a crap about zip encryption?
  • by garrulous (653996)
    "The problem lies with PKWare not giving information to WinZip, thus making WinZip to go it alone."

    Compression employed on this sentence may cause incompatibility with standard English.
  • by Mantorp (142371) <mantorp 'funny A' gmail.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:10PM (#6162292) Homepage Journal
    switching the locations of the I accept and Quit buttons every time you open it.
  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:10PM (#6162308) Homepage Journal
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/State/may00/katz21052 000a.asp

  • by altp (108775) * on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:10PM (#6162310) Homepage
    What? you mean there's competing closed source applications on windows that break compatibility with each other.

    Surely, you jest.

    Altp.
  • by AWhistler (597388) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:12PM (#6162323)
    I used to know a PKWare. Let's see. I think the last time I used it was back in Win31 days! Until now I didn't care much about which one I would use. Now that they are diverging, it appears that WinZip will be the one I use since I can find it more readily than PKWare. Besides, I seem to remember a while back something about PKWare ceasing to be. Guess I was wrong.

    Also, since WinZip is compatible with .tar.gz files, I'll stick with it. So in effect, instead of not caring, I just have to care enough to make a mental note to only remember WinZip and forget PKWare. And if I run across a PKWare-only file, either I'll have to trash it or download a trial PKWare long enough to convert the file, and then discard it.
  • uh, bzip2 anyone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why are we still all using this archaic .zip, when there's stuff that's so much better?
  • by Kjuib (584451)
    sounds like PKware is following the route of all the other major software organizations. Sharing info with people, making friends, being helpful. Then when the chance comes - breaks away from the group and wont share with the others. Oh - wait - that isn't the big boys, that was kindergarden.
  • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:14PM (#6162350) Journal

    It seems as if PKWare and Winzip are moving into the realm that is dominated by PGP and the GNU variant. PGP compresses the data when it encrypts it, so that need was taken care of already. I wouldn't use either Winzip or PKZip to send an encrypted zip file, because PGP is more universally known, and can give you 2048 bit encryption.

    AFAIK, the actual zip standard hasn't changed, which means that you'll be able to open zip files with either program (or the WinXP shell... heh). That's what I see most zip files being used for anyway... Windows based shareware / freeware. Stuff where encryption is not necessary.

    The venerable tar.gz and tar.bz2 formats, thankfully, will not be dictated by stupid companies. :-)

  • in two weeks third-party programs like Powerarchiver or Ultimatezip will have figured out how to deal with either, making this mostly moot.

    -JDF
  • Single purpose tools, you know it makes sense.
  • by Phreakiture (547094) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:18PM (#6162395) Homepage

    Yes, I do know the answer to that, and so do most of you, but the hordes of Windows users out there do not.

    What will happen is that the WinZip will win this feud, simply because it is what people use.

    ...and since the problem stems from PK not sharing information, UNIX zip implementations will likely behave in the same manner as WinZip.

  • by Suicide (45320) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:18PM (#6162398) Homepage
    Microsoft bashing aside for the moment, since Windows XP has built in support for .zip files, does this even matter? Your average windows user doesn't use encryption, and those in the know, use better formats of security.
  • PKWare is hosed. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fmaxwell (249001) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:24PM (#6162451) Homepage Journal
    Frankly, with the popularity of Winzip, PKWare is making a grave error. PKZip, while perfectly good, is running a distant second in popularity based on my observations. Making their product produce incompatible ZIP files is a sure way of eroding their market share even further.

    You do that sort of thing when you are the industry leader. This would be like Corel deciding that they were going to set a new standard for .DOC files that Microsoft would not be able to read. The result would be that Corel would lose their remaining six users of their word processor.
  • by wumarkus420 (548138) <[wumarkus] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:36PM (#6162591) Homepage
    I vote we go back to LZH, ARJ, or ARC

    I miss the BBS days where you needed about 10 compression programs.
  • by ites (600337) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:36PM (#6162592) Journal
    Reliable news sources (possibly an Iraqi Minister of Information, or worse, a White House Official) tell us that due to disagreements between Digital Research and Microsoft, the latest MS-DOS release (11.2a) will no longer be compatible with DR-DOS 11.x.
    All five remaining DOS users are likely to be severely complacement. For more information on this stunning development, we asked...
  • by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd&viatexas,com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:38PM (#6162611) Homepage
    The problem lies with PKWare not giving information to WinZip, thus making WinZip to go it alone
    Well then there's probably not going to be much of a problem, given that almost no one uses PKZip anymore. I'm young here but IIRC, everyone in the world used pkzip/pkunzip in the good old DOS days, but then when Windows started to rise, people started looking for a graphical frontend to it, and WinZip pretty much took the lead. I don't recall if WinZip was just a frontend in those days but before long it had integrated ZIP support.

    Also, memory serves that Philip W. Katz, the late founder of PKWare, worked with IDC to make the ZIP file format public domain, both because it wasn't entirely original to either organization, and also because it would never take off were it not. So here then we have PKWare, in the wake of the death of Katz, trying to "pull a Microsoft" and make their version incompatible with others in the hopes that more people will use their version. For that matter, I think PKWare's main claim to fame for years now has been that they were "the first".

    However this has the potential to backfire. PKWare may be trying to "pull a Microsoft" but they are not Microsoft and so now they're in the position where their product now creates the incompatible file. A file made with PKZip may not work with others, a file made with WinZip almost definitely will.

  • Aww great.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:39PM (#6162620) Homepage Journal
    People who break compression standards should be tarred and gzipped... I mean feathered.
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @01:44PM (#6162687) Homepage Journal
    First off the issue isn't the compression, it's encryption. Thus the problem isn't a new one, it's been around since the first extension of zip to involve other sorts of mangling. No standard zip library can read those, it's just that the big two commercial vendors have 'til now kept compatibility with each-other's encryption routines.

    The unfortunate part is that this is even being called "zip" at all. These aren't, they're zip with proprietary extensions for a completely different purpose. Zip is being used as a brand name and being "embraced and extended". Truth be told these should now be called zep or something files, not misrepresented as simply zip compressed files.

    What will this all break? Well for the suckers who use the encryption they're locking themselves into that one vendor's proprietary extensions. They won't be able to send their compressed files or archives and reliably assume they'll be readable. With zip now a standard part of many OS's (even WinXP now includes it) these mislabeled files will cause confusion and increased complexity.

    What can folks do about this? First reconsider corporate licenses for these increasingly un-zip applications. No need to increase the Help Desk's burden with unnecessary/non-standard extensions. Send out a memo reminding folks about policies regarding encrypting company material, the management of the keys used, and the real quality of the encryption used. Look at the free alternatives to the commercial apps, there's little that these applications do that can't be done just as well with free tools.

    Zip's value lies in it being a standard. Don't support inappropriate proprietary extensions to it.

  • by The Kryptonian (617472) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:04PM (#6162899)
    Most zip files, sorry to say, are made with WinZip now, so all that PKWare's reticence has accomplished is the balkanization of their own product.
  • Open Standards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nuggz (69912) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:07PM (#6162930) Homepage
    Maybe we should just use formats based on open standards. Then the actual software people use is irrelevant.
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Suppafly (179830) <slashdot@suppafl ... net minus author> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:07PM (#6162938)
    luckily, most people stopped using pkware when they stopped using dos, so this doesn't present a problem.
  • Who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) * <cydeweys@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:14PM (#6163014) Homepage Journal
    I haven't used .zip in a long time. There's, quite simply, much better stuff out there. My overall favorite solution is .tar.gz, but there are always times on Windows machines I want to split a file into multiple parts (like to post it on a newsgroup), so then I use WinRAR. Everything I've mentioned has better compression algorithms than Win/PK Zip, and I just can't imagine going back.
  • As I am sure (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mensa Babe (675349) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:16PM (#6163027) Homepage Journal
    many of you have already mentioned, I personally would rather stick with .tar.gz and .tar.bz2, while not touching the .zip so called "standard" with a mile long stick. If (by which I mean IF) this .zip thing was a standard, it would not be going to "fragment," period. I think everyone will agree with me. Gzip is a standard. Bzip2 is a standard. Tar is a standard. Zip is NOT a standard. And I see absolutely no reason to use slower, compression-ratio-wise poorer, proprietary, as well as otherwise inferior "standard" (notice the quote marks), when we have real standards available. I frankly agree with most of people about this subject. It's a good thing, that this news has been posted on Slashdot.
    • Re:As I am sure (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yoshi_mon (172895)
      Gzip is a standard. Bzip2 is a standard. Tar is a standard. Zip is NOT a standard.

      If you only use *nix systems then yes, that is correct.

      However for many years the Windows standard of compressing files has been the zip. Ask a standard Windows user what a tar, bz2, or tgz file is and will have no clue.

      While it's always good to have a *nix perspective on things here on /., to say that zip is not a standard in the Windows world is to ignore the reality of the situation.
    • by dangermouse (2242) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @03:06PM (#6163591) Homepage
      I'm a *nix user, and I've been using zip over tar as much as possible for years now. Why? Two words: RANDOM ACCESS.

      You can stick with the tape archiver if you want. You'll have the pleasure of waiting for your massive single file to finish decompressing, so you can then sequentially search the resulting decompressed archive for the files you actually wanted.

      In the meantime, I'll be plucking decompressed files right out of the middle of my zip archives, in a fraction of the time.

      Incidentally, if you're so anal about your compression ratio, why not compress with a good compressor (like bzip2) and archive with a good archiver (like zip)?

      • In the meantime, I'll be plucking decompressed files right out of the middle of my zip archives, in a fraction of the time.

        That's the difference between gadget freaks and users. Most users extract single files so rarely that they really don't need an entirely different format. For the once-in-a-blue-moon event that they have to find a single file, they probably just untar the whole archive, find the file by browsing the directory tree, and then delete the tree. But gadget freaks are so happy to have ju
  • by xQuarkDS9x (646166) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:27PM (#6163149)
    What I find funny is that PKWARE will basically die off from this, no one I know from the workplace, friends, or even home users use anything PKWARE related. They all use Winzip or another windows tool. Hell it's been 10 year's since I even used PKZIP from PKWARE, and back then I was on a 486 machine with DOS 5.

    It's also funny how people are still using a archiving format thats been around since 1988 at least, it's OLD and compresses like crap. Especially when there are SUPERIOR and much better compression formats out there such as

    ARJ
    JAR
    RAR
    UC2
    ACE

    All of these formats compress better then ZIP, yet you are hard pressed to find ARJ/ACE/JAR/UC2 files on the net, RAR files you may find here and there.
  • by Merlin_ (22156) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @02:50PM (#6163399) Homepage
    Whichever one is embedded into Windows XP.
  • by tbuskey (135499) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @05:49PM (#6165325) Journal
    *sigh* computer people don't know history.

    Back in the DOS days (1986?) there was a format called ARC used by the program arc. Everyone used it on the BBSes. Phil Katz came up with his own programs, pkarc and pkxarc. One created, one extracted. He added a new compression scheme and his apps were *much* faster.

    BBSes converted. When everyone is on 8088s and 2400 baud, every bit and cpu cycle counts.

    arc sued PK and won. PK had some arc code in pkarc/pkxarc or something. PK vowed neither he nor anyone else would be in that position and released the zip format.

    At the time, there was zoo, lha also competing. zoo was cross platform (DOS, Unix, VMS). lha was small and fast, producing small archives. zip aimed to be both.

    BBSes converted overnight. The arc format disappeared. Other formats persisted for awhile, but zip stayed mainstream.

    It's sad that PKware is on the other side of this...
  • Nico Mak?! (Score:4, Funny)

    by leshert (40509) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:10PM (#6167381) Homepage
    I've used WinZip, and it's nice and all, but I just have a hard time using a product from a company with that name [insultmonger.com] (third entry from the top).

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."

Working...