[whatwg] Multiple file download

Tim Hutt tdhutt at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 16:57:43 PST 2010

gzip and zip both use the same algorithm which is called DEFLATE. For a
single file they will give exactly the same results. tar.gz has a slight
advantage for multiple files because it treats them as one big file. That's
called 'solid compression'. However it does mean that in order to do
anything with tar.gz, including just seeing what's inside it you have to
decompress all of it first. That's a massive disadvantage. Zip is also much
more widely supported, and it doesn't suffer from the annoying 'archive with
an archive' thing.

Anyway, I think providing multiple file downloads in a zip is fine - is
anyone really complaining?

On 26 February 2010 00:13, Ashley Sheridan <ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk> wrote:

>  On Thu, 2010-02-25 at 19:13 -0500, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 11:03 PM, Ashley Sheridan
> <ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk> wrote:
> > Ideally I guess then, the browsers would support .tar.gz files as these give much better compression than .zip.
> ZIP and gzip give comparable compression, in my experience.  I just
> applied both to a random 3.5M text file lying around in /tmp, and got
> exactly 170K for both.  bzip2, 7-Zip, and xz tend to give better
> compression.
> I'm just going on software I download that's offered as both types of
> archive. Generally, gz is the smallest. Saying that, bz2 seems to be
> superior than both of them, but as it's so new, it doesn't have a massive
> take-up.
>   Thanks,
> Ash
> http://www.ashleysheridan.co.uk
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