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How to get rid of non-free packers?

When I run command "vrms" in my Debian GNU/Linux, most of those non-free
packages it finds are packers and/or unpackers. How about you? I like to
listen to music modules made under Amiga and many of those modules are
distributed in Aminet as LHA-archives. Sometimes I use DOS and its
software may be distributed as ARJ- or RAR-archives.

Of course free GUI-software like FileRoller can unpack many formats, but
actually most of them are just graphical front-ends for command-line
archivers, both free and non-free.

It is not very bad thing if we can't create archives in formats like
ACE, ARJ, LHA or RAR with free software. But it is more important to
have free software for unpacking of those archives. If we want to create
new archives, we can always use free software like GNU tar, gzip and
Bzip2 and tell other people to use some free or non-free software to
unpack them. .tar-, .tar.gz-, .gz- and even .bz2- and .tar.bz2-files are
well understood by many general-purpose archivers, like Winzip,
PowerArchiver, UltimateZip and Stuffit. And GNU Tar, gzip and Bzip2
themselves have been ported to many Operating systems already (Unixes
(both free and proprietary), Windows, MacOS, AmigaOS, OS/2 etc.)). I
have collected many links to archivers in the end of this WWW-page:


But now back to the original problem:

 * * *


/usr/share/doc/zoo/copyright says:

"Currently, all extract-only programs, and all supporting utili-
ties, are fully in the public domain and are expected to remain so
for the forseeable future."

So, where is that public-domain software for extracting ZOO-files?
Somebody must find it and then create Debian-package of it. IMHO
creating new ZOO-archives is not very important for us.

 * * *


Here is free implementation of it:


It is under GNU GPL. I think it can also create ARJ-archives.

 * * *



This is kinda complicated. It is dual-licenced software. One of those
licences is GNU GPL. But please read that FAQ:


It is just a library for extracting RAR-files. So somebody must create
some commandline tool that can unpack RAR-files and uses unrarlib for
that. Then somebody can create Debian-package of both unrarlib and
that commandline tool. I don't know, if source code of that library
has some code from Eugene Roschal.

 * * *


Here is relevant sections from /usr/share/doc/lha/copyright

---- Clip here ----

Translated License Statement (translated by GOTO Masanori

   It's free to distribute on the network, but if you distribute for
   the people who cannot access the network (by magazine or CD-ROM),
   please send E-Mail (Inter-Net address) to the author before the
   distribution. That's well where this software is appeard.
   If you cannot do, you must send me the E-Mail later.

 Original Source Code License Statement:

   /*    Copyright (C) MCMLXXXIX Yooichi.Tagawa                      */
   /*    Modified                Nobutaka Watazaki                   */
   /*                   Thanks to H.Yoshizaki. (MS-DOS LHarc)        */

---- Clip here ----

I think, only way to get free unpacking software for LHA-files is to
negotiate with those Japanese persons. Here are some URL of Japanese



How about contacting authors of AmigaOS-versions of LHA?


Maybe they could release those sources under some free licence and then
somebody could port them to Unix?

 * * *



They provide some statically linked Linux-binary for unpacking
ACE-archives. If that file-format is not very secret, somebody might be
able to create free unpacking-software for ACE-files. But feel free to
negotiate with authors of WinAce.

 * * *


This is very old archive-format. We only need some way to unpack those
files. Fortunately, this was just announced at c.o.l.a:


It is meant to be free replacement for arc. It is under GNU GPL. It can
also unpack Spark-files (common under Acorn Archimedes).

 * * *

P.S: I don't subscribe to mailing-lists of Debian, so please Cc: your
replies to me. And I am not Debian developer.

Juhapekka "naula" Tolvanen * * University of Jyväskylä * * juhtolv@st.jyu.fi
http://www.cc.jyu.fi/~juhtolv/index.html * * * * "STRAIGHT BUT NOT NARROW!!"
"Vesi hakkaa minua maahan, kuin tuhat lekaa ja miljoona vasaraa. Niinkuin
lauletaan, niin happi räjähtää ja kauniista kaunein kädet ojentaa." Apulanta

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