although both this thread and the last posts are somewhat dated, I just stumbled across your announcement to update the review and would like to add some remarks and suggestions.
I think it is important to not compare apples and oranges and make clear if you examine the archiving program or the archive format (or which combination of the two). And while I use WinRAR myself as my standard archiver (after using an older version of Squeez for years; I just dont like the colors of the new Squeez interface and happened to find a free copy of WinRAR 3.4 in a magazine), I think the review had some severe problems that unfairly favored WinRAR.
As we all know, the RAR format is proprietary, which sets it apart from formats like ZIP, 7z or SQX. Therefore no other archiver can legally create RAR archives. So IMO it's not a good idea to make RAR creation a criterion to judge packers.
Regarding RAR creation in Squeez and TugZip: Squeez can only create RAR 2 archives. Rarlabs changed both the archive format and the license (for the unpacker) with RAR 3 so it can't be reverse engineered anymore to create a packer (this is the same with the WinAce format support in Squeez). This incompatibility with recent RAR archives in some way defeats the purpose of RAR support in Squeez (RAR 2 archives are also less efficient than RAR 3 ones). BTW: (1) Rainer Nausedat, who reverse-engineered the RAR format for Squeez and invented the SQX format (which I like), unfortunately died in 2004. (2) There is also a free (for personal and educational use) version of Squeez called "ZipStar" that extracts (among others) and creates (only) ZIP (including ZIP64 and AES) SQX, and CAB (see http://www.speedproj...e/zipstar/index.html
). Maybe you could add ZipStar.
TugZip relies on RAR/WinRAR present on your machine. While it's a clever hack, it's hard to give all the credits for that to TugZip. Personally, I find TugZip's (even more than Squeez') interface annoying and bloated.
At least, RAR and 7z extraction and creation
should be judged separately. 7z is an open source format that can freely be integrated into a packer, so those two formats should be clearly distinguished.
You may also want to have a look at an (overly?) ambitious comparison of archivers I came across on http://www.rojakpot....x?artno=4&pgno=0
which has yet to deliver more than part 1 of 3. The first part concentrated on "fast" settings and had the command-line packers gzip and arj32
(may I suggest adding those or is that too far off?) come out as efficiency kings, followed by WinZip. I liked their way to measure efficiency
by KB saved / second.
Another solution worth of consideration might be to use a file manager
as packer shell. Both Speed Commander (from the same company as Squeez) and Total Commander handle a lot of archiving formats (for text-only diehards, FAR also does that). TC can, via the MultiArc plugin, probably handle every archiver that can be controlled with the command line (I don't use MultiArc myself, I only used the SQX and CAB plugins for a while). That's very
nice (and TC is the king of filesystem support as well).