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Author Topic: Re: New Review (09/05/05) - Best Archive Tool  (Read 28244 times)
Matteo
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2005, 01:50:15 AM »

Hello.
I am Matteo Riso, ZipGenius developer. A ZG user pointed me to your review and I find it really nice, but I have to point out some errors upon ZipGenius.



1 . "Best archive size achieved". Did you try Brutal+UPX compression level?
In ZipGenius 6 you can put "UPX.exe" ( http://upx.sourceforge.net ) in ZipGenius program folder. The program will recognize it and you will be allowed to pre-compress executable files (EXE, OCX, DLL) through UPX, before adding them to a ZIP file.
Why I added this feature? Many applications are distributed uncompressed but they could be smaller if their developers would use UPX. Here is a PDF about the benefit of using UPX as precompressor: Read this UPX. This feature will produce smaller ZIP files, even smaller than using WinZip's Maximum (Enhanced deflate) compression method, which also produces non-portable zip files (e. g.: you can't read those archives in other ZIP utilities).

2 . "Batch archive extraction". This feature is partially supported. Better: it is an automatic procedure. You just have to open multiple archives at once (ZipGenius uses tabs like Firefox to display the content of many archives) and right-clik on tabs:

Now you just have to click on "Extract all archives to separated folders". This is a batch procedure driven by the program.
Other batch actions may be done by hand using the command line support.

3 . "Licence type - SW". That's wrong.
ZipGenius is free for any environment: home, office, corporate, educational and so on. Donations are accepted just to maintain the main website and other services like mirror sites, forum , FAQ and Help online.

4 . "Cons" in your review:

Yes, it can, and it can also split other kind of files through the Cutter ZGTool.

The Suite Edition of ZipGenius includes both UPX.exe and Cutter tool, so that should be the package to use when trying out all ZipGenius features: except compiled help files, it includes everything plus additional themes for ZipGenius GUI.

Greetings  thumbs up
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mouser
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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2005, 02:24:09 AM »

hi matteo, welcome to the site!

i know zaine will get back to you about your comments and make changes to the review - it is a huge amount of work to do these reviews and inevitably a few mistakes slip in but we are anxious to get them corrected right away, and the changes will be up today with a little note at top pointing readers to them.

great to hear that zip genius is donation ware - and i encourage everyone to check it out and consider making a donation.  us donation-based coders have to stick together after all smiley

one other thing that i think everyone here agrees about, which is that having an active developer of a program, who is a real person, who takes the time to come make a post like this, is worth its weight in gold - it is so refreshing, and it speaks volumes for your integriry and commitment to the program. i know that i'm going to go try zipgenius and keep my eye on it, and look forward to watching it develop.

please feel free to post occasionally about any new developments, or if you want some feedback about ideas, etc. do not hesitate to stop by and talk.

-mouser

ps. ZipGenius homepage: http://www.zipgenius.it/index_eng.htm
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zridling
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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2005, 03:13:50 AM »

Thanks Matteo, and please accept my apologies. I downloaded and worked with the Standard version, unaware of the additional functionality of the Suite edition. I will work with it for a day and update the review within 48 hours (Thursday AM if not sooner).
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Jibz
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« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2005, 03:20:22 AM »

Just a quick note on using UPX as a precompressor -- it is not a reversible operation, and as such would not be lossless compression.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 03:47:24 AM by Jibz » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2005, 03:40:58 AM »

the real purpose of the review, which was to find the best archive program, not necessarily the best compression ratio.

Of course, everyone has different criteria for "best"   Wink

Most of my archives are made by automated processes, i.e. batch files.  That means I want a command-line tool, or at least, one that can be controlled from the command line.  By the same token, I have essentially no interest in obligatory point-and-click GUIs, and I missed comments on which if any products were command-line compatible.  If I really want a GUI, I use Total Commander as the shell.

If something is "freeware," I like to know whether it's free for all uses, or for personal use only.  In future reviews, maybe the word "cost" could be supplemented by "license?"

Oh, dear, this does sound negative...
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zridling
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« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2005, 03:46:28 AM »

Not at all, RJ! I considered the command line dimension to the review, but realized that I would be quickly overwhelmed, as that would add more apps than I could review effectively. A LOT of people use the command line, especially if they work at their computer for a living. As such, I considered it a separate review altogether, e.g., Best Command Line Compression Tool.
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mouser
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« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2005, 03:49:23 AM »

winrar has very good commandline support, doesn't it? i hear this mentioned frequently when people say they like winrar.
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Jibz
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« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2005, 03:54:31 AM »

I think so .. I only ever use the rar.exe command line tool to create archives thumbs up.

I also use it from scripts to perform backups. It has some handy features, like automatically adding date and time to archive names.
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rjbull
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« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2005, 03:56:47 AM »

As such, I considered it a separate review altogether, e.g., Best Command Line Compression Tool.

Ah.  (Is there a smiley for sublime innocence?)  When are you bringing that one out? Roll Eyes
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rjbull
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2005, 04:00:27 AM »

winrar has very good commandline support, doesn't it? i hear this mentioned frequently when people say they like winrar.

That's good.  But, a lot of my archives are made at work, for work.  There's a limit to the amount of my own money that I'm willing to spend for work.  Naturally, the supplied tools are limited by the corporation's willingness to spend money...
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Sentinel
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2005, 04:33:15 AM »

I use rar.exe extensively and can second that RAR has excellent command-line support and even has a few features that the GUI version doesn't.  For example, the rather useful 'L' command for creating listings of archives.

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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2005, 04:55:57 AM »

Just a quick note on using UPX as a precompressor -- it is not a reversible operation, and as such would not be lossless compression.

UPX in theory should be reversable (giving exactly the same pre-compression binary after using -d to decompress it) as it is one of the few exe compressors which stores a copy of the exe's original relocation table etc.  Of course, although files can often be decompressed back into the same exe, if they are left compressed after unzipping the archive (I'm not entirely sure of how ZipGenius works having never used it) there is a chance the will not work when run in a compressed form.

Here is an example of UPX decompressing properly: -

D:\TEST>copy buildwiz.exe before.exe
D:\TEST\buildwiz.exe => D:\TEST\before.exe
     1 file copied                                                             

D:\TEST>upx --best buildwiz.exe
                     Ultimate Packer for eXecutables
         Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002               
UPX 1.24w        Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer & Laszlo Molnar         Nov 7th 2002

        File size         Ratio      Format      Name
   --------------------   ------   -----------   -----------
    462848 ->    126976   27.43%    win32/pe     buildwiz.exe

Packed 1 file.

D:\TEST>upx -d buildwiz.exe
                     Ultimate Packer for eXecutables
         Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
UPX 1.24w        Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer & Laszlo Molnar         Nov 7th 2002

        File size         Ratio      Format      Name
   --------------------   ------   -----------   -----------
    462848 <-    126976   27.43%    win32/pe     buildwiz.exe

Unpacked 1 file.

D:\TEST>md5sum *.exe
b385e22beec3e37250b8ccf7d86e916c *before.exe
b385e22beec3e37250b8ccf7d86e916c *buildwiz.exe


That being said, there is no guarentee that the file will decompress accurately back to the original as UPX works on processing information within the exe (Jibz could tell us a lot more on this) rather than an archiver which will just treat the exe as a raw data file.¬† From experience it seems that generally only older/simpler exe files decompress back correctly as UPX does seem to mangle, or at least misunderstand, the headers of many newer exes.  This is probably due to it not having been updated in many years (except some dodgy Alphas) so has problems with some of the tweaked formats generated by newer compilers such as Visual Studio 2003 onwards and may even refuse to compress them in some cases unless you force it to.¬† Here is an example of UPX mangling a newer exe: -

D:\TEST>copy Tsizepro.exe before.exe
D:\TEST\Tsizepro.exe => D:\TEST\before.exe
     1 file copied                                                             

D:\TEST>upx --best Tsizepro.exe
                     Ultimate Packer for eXecutables
         Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002               
UPX 1.24w        Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer & Laszlo Molnar         Nov 7th 2002

        File size         Ratio      Format      Name
   --------------------   ------   -----------   -----------
   2338816 ->    841216   35.96%    win32/pe     Tsizepro.exe

Packed 1 file.

D:\TEST>upx -d Tsizepro.exe
                     Ultimate Packer for eXecutables
         Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
UPX 1.24w        Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer & Laszlo Molnar         Nov 7th 2002

        File size         Ratio      Format      Name
   --------------------   ------   -----------   -----------
   2338816 <-    841216   35.96%    win32/pe     Tsizepro.exe

Unpacked 1 file.

D:\TEST>md5sum *.exe
fdb6a21d4bf28ac48386e39b231ae6d9 *before.exe
e416ee063fd5f278a1b9391fae658b40 *Tsizepro.exe


I wouldn't risk using this ZipGenius compression option personally, it seems to be a poor kludge to work around compression limitations in the Zip format, and I doubt it gives much real world compression gain as well as potentially mangling some of your executables.  If you are going to make a non-standard format archive (Matteo said they were non-portable) the programmer might as well use a better compression algorithm such as LZMA and not mess around with risking user's executables.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 05:39:01 AM by Sentinel » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2005, 06:23:12 AM »

Oddly (good?) ZipGenius offers you the option of not compressing executables before initiating compression. But it made no difference on my test file.

RJ, I nominate you and Jibz to write the joint Best Command Line Compression Tool review.  Wink
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rjbull
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2005, 08:08:54 AM »

RJ, I nominate you and Jibz to write the joint Best Command Line Compression Tool review.  Wink

I couldn't possibly approach the quality of your review   embarassed  Besides, I'm busy in other parts of the wood...
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Matteo
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2005, 08:27:20 AM »


D:\TEST>md5sum *.exe
fdb6a21d4bf28ac48386e39b231ae6d9 *before.exe
e416ee063fd5f278a1b9391fae658b40 *Tsizepro.exe


I wouldn't risk using this ZipGenius compression option personally, it seems to be a poor kludge to work around compression limitations in the Zip format, and I doubt it gives much real world compression gain as well as potentially mangling some of your executables.  If you are going to make a non-standard format archive (Matteo said they were non-portable) the programmer might as well use a better compression algorithm such as LZMA and not mess around with risking user's executables.

Good to hear this. Can you send an executable file compiled with Visual Studio 2003 to zipgenius (AT ) gmail.com? I tested UPX a lot before adding it to ZG 6 and - yes - I did that to open new ways to ZIP compression format. It is true that ZIP format is now almost obsolete, but it is still widely used and this forced me to offer a portable alternative WinZip's enhanced deflate. While WZ-made zip files are not portable to other utilities, ZIP archives with UPX-compressed executable are: you can open them in other utilities because the ZIP algorhythm is always the standard one and not a modified version as WinZip's implementation.
Anyway, all suggestions are well accepted  Wink
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mouser
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2005, 09:22:42 AM »

matteo, maybe when you get a chance you might post some thoughts to this thread as well, about donationware: http://www.donationcoder....php?topic=825.0;topicseen
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zridling
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« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2005, 09:27:37 AM »

Semi off-topic. Matteo, I was just in chat room where users were bragging about how good ZipGenius support was, and three people in a row mentioned your name and gave examples of how you had helped them out or responded to their questions. That's class.
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Matteo
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2005, 11:52:53 AM »

Semi off-topic. Matteo, I was just in chat room where users were bragging about how good ZipGenius support was, and three people in a row mentioned your name and gave examples of how you had helped them out or responded to their questions. That's class.

Thank you and thanks to those users cheesy
I am an user, too.
I started ZipGenius development because I was tired of seeing WinZip's nag screen at each WZ startup, so I learned how to write an application with Delphi. It was 1997 and the original program name was "Mr. Zip 98" but I had to find a different name because "MR ZIP" was the name of another zip utility (now abandoned).

 thumbs up
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rjbull
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« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2005, 09:05:26 AM »

zridling,

Here's a thread on TalkAboutShareware referring to your archiver review:
http://www.talkaboutshare...ware/messages/409885.html
It being usenet, anyone who goes in there must be qualified to catch bullets in their teeth while juggling chainsaws...
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veekay
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« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2005, 05:12:02 PM »

Hello guys,

I am new to this site, and landed here via diggdot.us
Kudos to Zaine for that great review on "Best Archiver".  thumbs up

My favorite remains WinZip, mainly because of its excellent GUI (especially its tight Explorer integration),
and more so since the Zip format is the the most popular archiving format around.

I didn't find any ratings given to the reviewed archivers for their file-format support.
With loads of archive formats floating around the web, it is essential to have atleast a secondary archiving tool,
which supports decompression of these formats.

As of now, my choice of a secondary archiving utility is IZArc.

I agree that IZArc is slow and its UI is basically a clone of WinZip.
But I like it for its support for a multitude of formats:
7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO .

And IZArc's ability to create even .7z files is an icing on the cake (which means I have no need for 7Zip - even though
it is to be commended for coming out with an open-source archive format).

I haven't checked out the new WinRAR (its old versions were nothing but RAR-enabled clones of WinZip),
but thanks to you guys, I will do so soon. Keep up the good work.

Regards,
veekay.
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mouser
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« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2005, 06:08:58 PM »

welcome veekay.

in fact you sum up exactly why i still use winzip for 99% of my needs:
Quote
My favorite remains WinZip, mainly because of its excellent GUI (especially its tight Explorer integration),
and more so since the Zip format is the the most popular archiving format around.

-mouser
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2005, 07:13:50 AM »

I have used practically all of these utilities (most of them installed together until recently) and have finally settled on Squeeze which has a nice interface and supports just about all the formats natively in one simple inteface (including RAR compression and extraction without having WinRAR installed). Seems to integrate into Explorer as well as any of the others. It has all the functions (recovery records and SXF modules) built in and SQX format archives seem to give a good compression ratio (better than RAR most of the time).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2005, 07:15:22 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

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