In article <Pine.LNX.4.21.0201191154530.4074-100000 / bartok>, 
Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> 
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2002, Tobias Reif wrote:
>> Mirabai Neumann wrote:
>> > Should be no problem, as unzip is available on most systems.
>> That's what I thought.
>> > However, I'd 
>> > prefer .tar.gz or even better .tar.bz2.
>> Why? Are there any problems with .zip on Linux/Unix? What are the 
>> advantages of .tar.gz?
> 
> The problem with .zip is that it was Not Invented Here (NIH).

Err, no. The problem with .zip is that it was invented over five years
after .tar.Z became standard on Unix. .tar.Z became standard on Unix
somewhere around 1982 or so (when 'compress' became widely available
as part of BSD systems), pkzip was invented around 1988 or so when
Phil Katz got into an argument with the guy who wrote the 'arc'
program and was forced (via lawsuit) to write his own archive format
from scratch.

The .tar.Z standard on Unix migrated to .tar.gz when the Unisys patent
became widely known. The Unisys patent didn't affect AT&T Unix because
AT&T cross-licensed its patents, but Richard Stallman threw a fit and
decided to re-write 'compress' in a non-patent-infringing manner. This
was somewhere around 1991, if I recall correctly. Note that pkzip
arguably violates the Unisys patent since it uses basically the same
compression algorithm as 'arc', which is basically the same
compression algorithm as 'compress', but apparently Unisys has not
tried to enforce it there. Lately a better compression routine (bzip2)
has been invented that compresses better than 'gzip' (which in turn
compressed better than 'compress' and its derivatives such as 'arc'
and 'pkzip'), and many Unix programs are now packaged as both .tar.gz
and .tar.bz2 files, just as, during the transition from .Z to .gz in
the early 90's, many Unix programs were packaged as both .Z and .gz
files.

> 
> Of those, actually a few are still in love with the older .tar.Z format,
> which is the moral equivalent of still running SEA-ARC on a DOS box
> (note: SEA-ARC was before PK-ARC; PK-ARC before PK-ZIP 0.9). The .Z versus
> .gz argument boils down to which is perceived as easier: 1. licensing a
> patent from Unisys; 2. surviving a herd of angry gnus.

(heheh). Yeah. But the fact of the matter is that:

1) pkzip was invented to get around the arc lawsuit,
2) arc was invented because of limitations of the DOS platform
  (that did not allow pipes and thus .tar.Z), 
3) The .tar.Z format predates both arc and pkzip by several years.

-- 
Eric Lee Green       eric / badtux.org    http://www.badtux.org
    GnuPG public key at http://badtux.org/eric/eric.gpg
            BadTux: Linux Penguin Gone Bad