Re: Query: stuffed/zipped generic term

Subject: Re: Query: stuffed/zipped generic term
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- ROGERS -dot- WAVE -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 17:18:43 -0800

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997 13:11:49 -0500, Elsa Kapitan-White wrote:

>Mac files are stuffed and Windows files are zipped, playing off the names
>of popular software programs for this function. What is the generic name
>regardless of platform -- compressed?

That's the general term for what StuffIt and PKZip (and other ZIP
programs) do, yes. Actually, these tools are typically used to combine
archiving and compression functions into one.

"Archiving" is typically used to bundle multiple files into one storage
file, or archive, suitable for offline storage or easy transmission
(imagine downloading the latest Netscape update and having to pull in
each of a couple dozen installation files separately).

Compression is normally used as well to reduce the size of the output
file, and most compression systems allow you to vary the amount of
compression, including NO compression, vs. the speed of the operation
(the tighter you want it compressed, the longer it takes to process).

Most archivers also support storage of directory trees, extended file
attributes, filename case, etc., although some need to be told
specifically to save and/or extract that information (PKUnzip, for
example, does not restore directory structure unless you specify the -d
switch. Strangely, PKzip's switch to store directory structure in the
first place is -p...).

A good analogy to how archiving is used can be found in the terms LHarc
uses, "freezing" and "melting". Files are "frozen" into an archive,
the "melted" upon extraction. Imagine you want to transport a bunch of
water bugs - the easiest thing to do (assuming you have liquid nitrogen
handy) would be to flash-freeze the surface of the water, then ship
that block of ice, bugs and all. Melting it on the other end releases
them again :-)

Your friend and mine,
<insert standard disclaimer here>

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough
to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.
- George Washington

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Microsoft buys $1.5 interest in Apple (news - not a joke, spam, flame)
Next by Author: Re: Query: stuffed/zipped generic term
Previous by Thread: Re: Query: stuffed/zipped generic term
Next by Thread: Re: Query: stuffed/zipped generic term

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads