[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: How to get rid of non-free packers?

On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, Juhapekka Tolvanen wrote:

> 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
There may be patent issues. I'd check with the authors of the archivers.
Additionally reading the compression newsgroup FAQ may provide some
information regarding archivers and patents. Mark Nelson also recently
commented that Unisys's patent on LWZ will be expiring soon. I'd check
into that if it's applicable to any archiver you're looking at.

A good list of archivers for DOS/Windows and Macs can be found through
http://www.compression.ca and http://www.datacompression.info

> 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 talk a bit about archivers and compression. An interesting archiver that
I'd like to become part of debian is Charles Bloom's ppmz2 (found at
http://www.cbloom.com ), but I believe it's license is currently not
Debian compatible (it may be good for non-free).

> ZOO:
> IMHO creating new ZOO-archives is not very important for us.
Some BBS sysops (if there still are any) may require zoo, especially for
fidonet like networks.

> ARJ:
> http://testcase.newmail.ru/
> It is under GNU GPL. I think it can also create ARJ-archives.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/arj is also under the GNU GPL and is
worth looking at too.

> RAR:
> http://www.unrarlib.org/
> that commandline tool. I don't know, if source code of that library
> has some code from Eugene Roschal.
Maybe it's worth asking Eugene Roschal (roshal at rarlab.com)? I'd check
the resources available at http://www.rarlab.com/rar_add.htm such as
http://www.rarlab.com/rar/unrarsrc.tar.gz tucow's gpl'd console un-rar may
be based on this code.

> LHA:
If desired I'll check more into this archiver (again useful in ways zoo is

> ACE:
> 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.
Worth a try if anyone feels this is worth while. I haven't really seen
much packed with ace and ace doesn't rank well on

> ARC:
> 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:
> http://rus.members.beeb.net/nomarch.html
> It is meant to be free replacement for arc. It is under GNU GPL. It can
> also unpack Spark-files (common under Acorn Archimedes).
Interesting. For several people to be involved I would image that research
relating to patents and other lha archivers would have already been done
so I won't do any checking unless requested to.

     Drew Daniels

I'm looking for work. If you can help see:

Reply to: