[Libreoffice] Tar / Zip wobbly

Kevin Hunter hunteke at earlham.edu
Wed Oct 27 15:17:36 PDT 2010

At 5:47pm -0400 Wed, 27 Oct 2010, Wols Lists wrote:
> On 27/10/10 18:10, Kevin Hunter wrote:
>> The file format was created circa 1990 (Phil Katz, maybe?), and,
>> because of lawsuits against his company, intentionally released
>> into the public domain. I've forgotten the exact story details,
> The wikipedia article is pretty brief, but it seems that actually
> Phil Katz stole the basis of zip. That's certainly the story as I
> understood it. I'm not sure how similar the formats arc and zip are,
> but zip seems to have started life as an illegal version of arc.

Oh good deal!  Thanks for pointing me to Wikipedia on the subject! 
Wikipedia always a good refresher of way more than one needed to know or 
had time to read ... :-)  Further reading suggests that Phil was indeed 
infringing on SEA's work, but that the Zip file format is *not* the Arc 
format.  I agree with your conclusion that Zip certainly started life 
because of Arc and an associated interaction, but like you, I don't know 
the internals of the formats.  I had recalled that there was a 
controversy at the beginning, but I thought it had long been resolved. 
Surely the Free software community, especially as small as it was back 
then, would not have let illegal IP into its ranks?

We're rather off LibreOffice topic at this point (my fault!), but I'm 
still genuinely curious about your comment that Zip shouldn't be on a 
*nix system.  It's not the first time I've heard that opinion, but it's 
the first time I've probed further.



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