Archiving Modules

Jorgen Grahn grahn+nntp at
Fri Feb 18 18:52:15 EST 2011

On Fri, 2011-02-18, Alexander Kapps wrote:
> On 18.02.2011 19:51, Westley Martínez wrote:
>> On Fri, 2011-02-18 at 04:55 -0800, peter wrote:
>>> On Feb 17, 9:55 pm, Jorgen Grahn<grahn+n... at>  wrote:
>>>> RAR is a proprietary format, which complicates things. For example,
>>>> Linux distributions like Debian cannot distribute software which
>>>> handles it.  If Python included such a module, they'd be forced to
>>>> remove it from their version.
>>> Good point, and one that I did not appreciate.  But there are freeware
>>> applications such as jzip ( which can handle .rar
>>> files, so there must be a way round it.
>>>> I wouldn't encourage its use by writing /more/ software which handles
>>>> it. IMHO, archives should be widely readable forever, and to be that
>>>> they need to be in a widely used, open format.
>>> I agree, but if a file is only available as a rar archive I would like
>>> to be able to extract it without using another 3rd party application.
>>> peter
>> Freeware is still proprietary software.

It can be ("freeware" is a vague term). As I understand they situation
here, such software is either in a gray area legally, or the author
has made some kind of special agreement with the RAR people.

> While I agree with the general refusal of .rar or other non-free 
> archive formats, a useful archiving tool should still be able to 
> extract them. Creating them is an other issue.
> There is a free (open source) un-rar for Linux which AFAIK can at 
> least handle .rar archives below v3.

That's part of my point -- unrar-free is the only decoder free enough
to be distributed by Debian, and yes, it's limited to decoding old
versions or the rar file format. Wikipedia seems to say it was based
on RAR as it looked before some license terms change.


  // Jorgen Grahn <grahn@  Oo  o.   .  .
\X/>   O  o   .

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