Transparent ZIP access?

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NLS
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Transparent ZIP access?

Post by NLS »

Since SCUMMVM does not support searching in/using ZIP files and there seem to be no plans to do it (for reasons beyond my understanding), I wonder if anybody has found a way to transparently treat ZIP files as folders.

There is a saying in Greece that says: If Muhammed doesn't go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Muhammed (we are not Muslims, so probably this is a saying coming from the East - maybe some Turk could verify).

NO I am not talking about the XP (and above) feature, where in explorer you can open ZIP as a folder, but a complete transparent handler (aaah, Amiga), to have this functionality in any file handling action (be it from inside file requesters, shell, scanning folders from inside a program, wherever).

Is there such a thing?

Tramboi
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Re: Transparent ZIP access?

Post by Tramboi »

You should specify which OS, though you're probably asking for Windows flavours.

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Noelemahc
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Re: Transparent ZIP access?

Post by Noelemahc »

NLS wrote:There is a saying in Greece that says: If Muhammed doesn't go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Muhammed (we are not Muslims, so probably this is a saying coming from the East - maybe some Turk could verify).
We have this saying in Russia also. But then again, the sands of time have hidden its origins well.

On-topic:

I assume you want this feature to work much like it does for emulators - where you can load files from within an archive, exchanging a sizeable hard drive space economy for a slightly longer load time? This would work wonders for space-constrained platforms such as mobile phones, but the additional processing power and RAM strain for processing such archives might as well eliminate the upsides.

And for the computer builds - again, only if you're really space-constrained. I mean, like, REALLY. And really want to keep all your ScummVM supported games installed at once, ready to be played at your slightest thought. Like I do, I suppose.

Tramboi
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Re: Transparent ZIP access?

Post by Tramboi »

By the way the rationale behind not supporting this is probably:
Old games are small enough.
Newer games (talkies) have big files with highly compressible sounds pack : if you compress those with OGG or MP3, ZIPing won't buy you much anyway.
If you don't, ZIP will compress much less than lossy compression anyway.


Anyway...
if you're on XP the good and non intrusive solution is using the compressed file system.
Right click on the games folder,
Properties, General, Advanced,
Enable compression or something like this

NLS
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Post by NLS »

Well I do have space concerns. Old games zip VERY well after all and it is a pity not to.

Also, a zip file is a single portable file. Clean. Unlike a folder.

Yes I am asking about Windows, although I would love the same functionality in WMobile.

I would love if SCUMMVM supported this natively (like most -if not all- modern emulators) but if they don't plan to (again: for reasons beyond my understanding - don't want to bring this here, as I disagree but their vote, understandably is stronger than mine :)), then I am looking for alternative ways.

I am aware (and sometimes use) NTFS compression, but it is different from what I am looking for.
Last edited by NLS on Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tramboi
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Post by Tramboi »

Did you try the compressed NTFS solution?
It should buy you space the same way than ZIP does.

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Post by NLS »

Yes I know but not the same, I say why in the edited post above.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin »

Actually, the zip compression would usually *not* be that helpful on e.g. mobiles, because they are *really* space constrained -- that is, their RAM (and also CPU) is heavily constrained, too. If you store the data in compressed form, it has to be first uncompressed -- so you take up lots of RAM to store the uncompressed data. Random access is not possible with regular ZIP files.

There are more reasons we don't support them, of course, see also http://scummvm.org/faq.php#id2551517

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Post by NLS »

Yes fingolfin I know (both about the FAQ and about how zip is handled).

My point is (since the first reason mentioned in the FAQ is a non-reason to me - as people WILL do it if they want anyway), that having support for something is always better than not.

Nobody will force anybody to USE zip. But if they HAVE THE ABILITY to do it (the system allows for it), it is for the better.

We all know it is pretty simple with all the open-source unzip libraries lying around. Insisting to not implement this because of (a) a non-reason and (b) that "it wouldn't help" (so? let us have the choice), reminds me the two old guys in the balcony in the Mappets. :) (take this lightly - always a problem to know how someone means something in the forums)

Once more: It is a choice. Give the choice. Even your interpreter engines are "switchable" so if someone wants to make a build with only one engine, can do it, why not zip support.

I hope I am getting through. It is 2008, maybe some things need to be reconsidered.

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sev
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Post by sev »

Let me provide my 2 cents.

ScummVM requires that user will copy files from his/her original media. I.e. originally they go unzipped. Now, imagine we add zip support. What will come to mind of a lawyer? He, just like you and many other people, mistakenly thinks about ScummVM as an emulator, and it is pretty known that all those emulators go hand by hand with illegal copies of the games. And see, ScummVM goes same direction. Lawyers are pretty often technically incapable to avoid thinking in common "templates".

Legal issues aside, let explain just like I explained it 1000 times before. We have 2 distinct game categories here: small and big ones. In most cases bigger games are bigger because they contain audio/music. Consider small games. Say, you will gain 50% with zipping. Okay, you saved 300kb of storage space. Is it really worth efforts? Now turn to bigger games. First, if there are big files, there will be no way to compress them, as all of them have to be uncompressed to memory, and look at 100MB++ files of Full Throttle and Dig. So, there is no way to work with them compressed, technically. As of audio, we already supply compression which gives bigger size gain that ZIP. So what's the point? Only one thing is left: warez.

And especially in the light of recently appeared huge collection of "Every ScummVM game in it" from an old timer, where all games are zipped, I think we will never do it, despite the statement in our FAQ.


Eugene

NLS
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Post by NLS »

I still think "ability to" is always better than "inability to". BTW you said it yourself, there are SCUMMVM collections out there, regardless of if SCUMMVM supports warez - it doesn't affect them. If a stupid lawyer comes up, he can already act stupid. Should you stop the whole project? No!

OK - we'll discuss this issue again, say, December 2008? :) (I need to check the average "zip support" topic surfacing here)
Don't blame me for trying.

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sev
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Post by sev »

NLS wrote: Don't blame me for trying.
Hehehe. (1) This is Junkyard (2) there is freedom of speech (3) I can silently ignore your messages (4) December 2008 doesn't sound annoying anyway ;)


Eugene

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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto »

NLS wrote:I still think "ability to" is always better than "inability to".
That's why you have the ability to implement it on your own for yourself (and others 'cause of the GPL), but of course that doesn't include that we would support it ;-).

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Post by Collector »

A lot of this reminds me of the same arguments raised in discussions about zip support in DOSBox. In the end zip support was added. There are legitimate reasons to zip. Most classic gamers have a lot of games on floppies. If you don't have these floppies backed up on optical media, you are crazy. Every time I get a new game on floppy, the very first thing I do is to copy the disks for backup. I make a zip for each disk, rather than creating a bunch of folders to keep the files separate. Then there is the fact that many new computers no longer have floppy drives. There are legitimate reasons for legal copies to be zipped.

I know that DOSBox is not directly analogous to ScummVM. It has not had the legal challenges that other emulators and this project had to face, but there seems to be too much abandonware paranoia about zip support than is warranted. However, in the end it is the decision of the ScummVM developers to make.

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sev
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Post by sev »

Collector wrote:but there seems to be too much abandonware paranoia about zip support than is warranted.
...And my detailed technical reasons are just silently ignored. :roll:


Eugene

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