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Dark_Oppressor

Archive file formats for software distribution

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I currently use zip files to distribute game/software files to users on Windows. I'd prefer to use 7z and use LZMA2 compression, but I'm not sure how widespread use of 7z is. This is why I've always used zip, as at least everyone I talk to has heard of it. Does anyone have any idea (or better yet, some sort of data somehow) how commonly used various archive formats are? I'm curious about the same thing on Linux. I'd like to use xz, but will everyone be cool with that? (I kind of assume less of an issue with the Linux crowd, but still)

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I currently use zip files to distribute game/software files to users on Windows.

If you want to distribute software try to avoid artifical barrier, therefor zip is one of the best solutions (native windows support !).

 

An other quite common way is to use an installer software which will handle compression and is delivered as out-of-the-box executable. For example take a look at nsis .

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I currently use zip files to distribute game/software files to users on Windows.

If you want to distribute software try to avoid artifical barrier, therefor zip is one of the best solutions (native windows support !).

 

An other quite common way is to use an installer software which will handle compression and is delivered as out-of-the-box executable. For example take a look at nsis .

 

Yes, that is why I am still using .zip currently. It's probably the best solution on Windows. I forgot to mention that I have actually used an installer previously for Windows (Inno Setup), and that seemed to work really well, too. I just prefer using archives (both easier to create and easier to use, imo), so I usually use those, especially for non-commercial stuff (releases of open source stuff, etc.)

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Does anyone have any idea (or better yet, some sort of data somehow) how commonly used various archive formats are? I'm curious about the same thing on Linux. I'd like to use xz, but will everyone be cool with that? (I kind of assume less of an issue with the Linux crowd, but still)

If you are distributing software over the web, then you are pretty much stuck with lowest-common-denominator on each platform, to avoid alienating potential customers.

 

On Windows that would be Zip or a graphical installer. On Mac it is either Zip or an Apple disk image (installers are possible, but frowned upon for most software). On Linux it tends to be a tar file, using either gzip or bzip2 compression (not zip - a windows-friendly unzip isn't always installed).

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Does anyone have any idea (or better yet, some sort of data somehow) how commonly used various archive formats are? I'm curious about the same thing on Linux. I'd like to use xz, but will everyone be cool with that? (I kind of assume less of an issue with the Linux crowd, but still)

If you are distributing software over the web, then you are pretty much stuck with lowest-common-denominator on each platform, to avoid alienating potential customers.

 

On Windows that would be Zip or a graphical installer. On Mac it is either Zip or an Apple disk image (installers are possible, but frowned upon for most software). On Linux it tends to be a tar file, using either gzip or bzip2 compression (not zip - a windows-friendly unzip isn't always installed).

 

OK, that is about what I expected to hear. My current setup is in fact .zip for Windows, .tar.bz2 for Linux, and .dmg for OS X (and .apk for Android :-P). I've been operating on the mostly made-up assumption that this was a good idea, but it's good to hear others agree. Although I sure would prefer to use fancy other formats... guess I'll have to stick with using those fun formats for storing/sending development stuff. (Can a compression algorithm/format be fun?)

Edited by Dark_Oppressor

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(Can a compression algorithm/format be fun?)

 

Absolutely. Anything can be fun to the right person.

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(Can a compression algorithm/format be fun?)

 

Absolutely. Anything can be fun to the right person.

 

Agreed. Although I just finished setting up a Linux box to cross-compile my game engine stuff (Windows 32/64 bit, Linux 32/64 bit, OS X 64 bit, Android arm/armv7a/x86), and I had never cross-compiled anything before (not counting running someone's cross compile script to build their project). THAT was... an interesting few bleary-eyed days. I'd like to meet the person who would find that fun. Now that it works I'm having a ball though.

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