On 3/29/07, Chad Perrin <perrin / apotheon.com> wrote:> 2. Certain compression programs are very well known, and "everyone" has> them (for some definition of "everyone", depending on OS platform, et> cetera).  Thus, "everyone" uses them.  Short of producing a hugely> popular program that handles both old and new compression algorithms (or> both old and new file formats, in other examples of this phenomenon in> action), adoption of something new is going to be very slow and prone to> failure despite any technical advantages to the new algorithm/format.> This is illustrated by the demonstration of the commercial end-user> market failure of the Betamax -- VHS won that little skirmish simply> because it was more widely available, quickly became a household word,> and prevented migration to Betamax simply by way of market inertia.>
Or just witness the huge popularity out there for the RAR format - aformat that is popular only because it once got popular - and the onlyreason for that was that it made it easy to split archives into manysmall parts. This was important (especially for the pirate market, ofcourse) in the days that a huge download could be corrupted. RARallowed people to only redownload  one small part when that happened.
Today, with torrents and hashes in all major protocols, this isessentially a moot issue, and the slightly better compression thansome other formats is also negligible as in no user would actuallynotice any difference except for byte count in the file manager...Today it's just one big bad hassle, because people use it a LOT andthis means installing an extra program on every computer you use ifyou want to participate - a non-free program at that, for those of uswho care.
Using RAR amounts to Cargo Cult Compression in my opinion, as it'sonly invoking the old ritual of times past because "we have alwaysdone it this way" with no understanding on why and no actual benefits.
Not that it's really the best solution for many reasons, but if youwant to be really practical, people should use zip for all theircompression needs - because that's the only format all modern OS:escan open with no extra software, at least that I know of.
Just goes to show...
-- Kristoffer
-- Kristoffer Lundn kristoffer.lunden / gmail.com kristoffer.lunden / gamemaker.nuhttp://www.gamemaker.nu/ 0704 48 98 77