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Re: On another (but related) note: Zip files




On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 03:57:52PM -0700, James H. H. Lampert wrote:
I know that the tradition for Linux is GZipped tarballs, but I also know that, at least from the Gnome desktop, I can open a PKZip-compatible Zip file, and create a (presumably also) PKZip-compatible Zip file.

I don't, however, see a way to do so from the command line (or within a script) without doing an apt-get to install the zip package (and presumably also the unzip package).

Can somebody explain this? It seems a bit puzzling.

I think it's down to the Freeness of the format. When PKZip was first released, it was shareware (meaning that the binary is provided free of charge, but there would be a "nag" message telling you to buy the product). GZip has always been free (probably GPL, but Wikipedia doesn't make that clear). Therefore, in the early days of Linux, gzip was the preferred format, because the compressor/decompressor was available for free.

So, because gzip has such a market share in the Linux world, it makes sense for it to be included in the debian base install (in fact, apt and various utilities rely on it, so it needs to be there). Zip files, though, are much less common in the Linux world. There is nothing in the base install of debian that requires zip files, so therefore the zip program is not installed.

As you point out, though, there *is* now a zip program which is Free (i.e which can be distributed by Debian), so access to zip files is just a command away.


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JHHL


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