2008-06-11

Why Microsoft? Why?!

Take the cab file format. It's present on every windows from Windows 95. If you use the LZW compression algorithm you get small archives.
986.875 oggcodecs.7z
1.150.890 oggcodecs.cab
1.618.917 oggcodecs.zip

It's better than zip and a bit worse as 7-zip.

The problem with cab file format it's that it's hard to use it in command line.

For example here is what you need to code to compress one directory into a cab file:
for %%i in (oggcodecs\*.*) do echo "%cd%\%%i" >> files.ddf
makecab /L . /D CompresionMemory=21 /D CompressionType=LZX /D DestinationDir=oggcodecs /F files.ddf
del files.ddf
move disk1\1.cab oggcodecs.cab
rmdir disk1
del setup.inf
del setup.rpt

Pretty hard core. One might say that this is not a tool to be used from a command line as rar or other popular archiving programs. This is done only once by me in a script file, so I can live with it.

The problem is with the extraction method. I have created a folder inside that cab file, which I can see with Total Commander, 7-zip File Manager etc, but with Windows Explorer I see directly the files, without the directory. There is one command line program which handles cab archives - expand.exe. Expand.exe doesn't know about directories in cab files, there is no switch to instruct him to preserve the directory structure from the cab file.

Why Microsoft? Why?

The solution is simple, create the destination folder first, d'oh!

mkdir oggcodecs
expand oggcodecs.cab -F:* oggcodecs\

Why not use 7-zip and ignore all this trouble? A cab file I can digitally sign and you can see it's coming from me and you don't need a 3rd party program to unpack!
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