Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.

Archiving Formats

Traditionally, GNUish MSDOS archives are made using Rahul Dhesi's zoo archiver. This archive format is popular and portable, used in many places, notably for the Usenet `comp.binaries.ibm.pc' exchange group. The GNUish MSDOS project selected it because it works both on MSDOS and UNIX, and all the sources are freely available. Moreover, it offers a nice user interface and is dependable.

Some people wanted GNUish MSDOS to use zip for its better compression, but zip was proprietary software at that time. A new version of zoo (version 2.1) offers a higher compression rate, comparable to what zip can achieve. About at the same time, the `Info-ZIP' group produced a zip program available in source form, and which work both on MSDOS and UNIX. There are no more big reasons for using one instead of another.

Also, some sites converted all of GNUish MSDOS to ARC or LHarc format. Instead of feeding an archivers war, let us simply hope that each archive site will follow the GNU spirit and at least offer the free archiver they use, both in executable and complete source form.

Most packages consists of two archives, one for the complete source and documentation, the other for the executable and data files; however, it happens that the documentation is sometimes provided with the executables. The filename for a package archive is often selected according to the following pattern:

program version edition sequence.extension

In this syntax, program is a short string to identify the product, e.g. `futi' indicates GNU file utilities; while version is a decimal integer naming the version, without any decimal point, v.g. `14' for `1.4', 358 for `3.58'; edition is `a' for the first release in GNUish MSDOS, then `b', `c', etc. for subsequent editions. The value of sequence is the letter `s' for the source and documentation, or `x' for executable and data files. When extension is `zoo', this usually refers to zoo version 2.1.

Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.