Distributing Rev Stacks (was The age of user-translatable applications...
Jeanne A. E. DeVoto
jeanne at runrev.com
Thu Sep 12 14:22:00 CDT 2002
At 8:01 AM -0700 9/12/2002, Rob Cozens wrote:
>On Macs .sit files are NOT acceptable, because .sits are version
>specific: if the downloader has the wrong version of StuffIt, the
>archive won't expand.
That seems a little notional to me; people use StuffIt all the time. If
you're concerned about version incompatibility, you could always use a
stuffer application that's a few versions old; the free StuffIt Expander is
fully backward-compatible so newer versions would still work with it.
A self-extracting archive is not only much larger, it's something some
people will be wary of because of the virus issue (since it's an
application, it can carry a virus payload), and it's completely
>Now when it comes to individual stacks, I want ONE format that can be
>used to download to any platform. I believe BinHex is that format.
>If I am wrong, what do others suggest? A few years ago I read an
>article that suggested BinHex was the ONLY 100% safe format for
>Internet file transfer. Would others care to comment?
Binhex translates from binary to ASCII (that is, the translation encodes
the high bit, so all the characters are 7-bit ASCII instead of 8-bit) at
the cost of increasing the file size by maybe 25%. That's the only thing it
A few FTP servers still have trouble with 8-bit transfers. However, no web
server I am aware of uses anything but an 8-bit channel to transfer files:
HTTP is inherently 8-bit. So if you're putting a file on a web server for
download, the only thing binhexing it does is 1) increase the download size
and 2) confuse Windows and Unix users.
I'd just zip or stuff the file. StuffIt Expander will handle unzipping, and
of course there are umpteen Windows utilities for doing it. And there's a
StuffIt Expander for Windows if you go that route. I think either way is
Jeanne A. E. DeVoto ~ jeanne at runrev.com
Runtime Revolution Limited - The Solution for Software Development
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