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Using external archive tools for archive support?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:31 pm
by kimmov
Ever since we added archive support with 7-zip the biggest problem has been that we can't keep up with 7-Zip releases.

And unfortunately Jochen is only one who can realistically update support dlls. So we are totally dependent when Jochen has time to update them. Sometime it has taken quite a lot of time as 7-zip internals have changed a lot so changes to support latest 7-Zip have been big.

For some time we have had a basic support for using other archive programs. This isn't really documented or known by other than perhaps me and Jochen. Simple reason for this is it requires editing INI file in WinMerge folder. There is no GUI for it. So it really isn't user friendly solution. And I really don't want to document something requiring editing INI files for all users.

Also the nature of the INI file isn't really to replace 7-zip but customize handling files with certain extensions. Or allowing external archive programs to handle archive types 7-zip doesn't handle. So for replacing 7-zip as archive file support program we need to extend it anyway.

What we need for more flexible archive support:
  • new INI file (or preferably registry setting) for setting overriding archive program(s)
  • if its INI file it must be in users profile folder so users without admin privileges can alter it
  • path to archive program(s) not just executable name, so users don't need to have programs in path
  • GUI in WinMerge for easy setting these settings
  • GUI should just allow selecting (detected) archive programs (find path)
  • GUI can "know" compress/decompress parameters for few popular programs and not require users to set them

This is quite a lot of work, especially for the GUI. But it is also important so that we don't make users to depend old versions of 7-zip for too long.