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Old 04-17-2008, 03:07 AM   #1
Chriswaterguy
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Archive Manager not compressing much


Creating a zip file of text files doesn't compress much at all (2.4 MB became 2.1 MB). I expected much greater compression.
I'm using "Archive Manager" in Mandriva with Gnome. I can't find anything about compression, and it doesn't even display % compression when opening an archive. I'd prefer a format that can be opened on any computer.

The files are my Z
im wiki's zim_pages directory - plain text. Thanks.
 
Old 04-17-2008, 03:58 AM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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Try 7zip or p7zip.

Also, you should know that freeware and FLOSS programs exist on Window$ that will open all archive types available on Linux and more. It's just that most Window$ users will not have it installed. 7zip is one example, it can open many archive types, but most Window$ users will not have it installed.

Indeed I usually send things to people in zip of 7zip, if I know they're running Window$, that way I know they can open a zip by default, and can go download and install 7zip, if they aren't completely braindead or brainwashed or whatever you wanna call it, inexperienced, naive, ignorant ... which is the case sometimes, they can't seem to install a simple program properly even with all their GUI.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-17-2008 at 04:04 AM.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:53 AM   #3
Chriswaterguy
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Same result

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Try 7zip or p7zip.
Thanks - I installed p7zip. It still only compresses to 2.1 MB (.7z, .tar.gz or .zip) and gets bigger (!) with .tar (2.5 MB). Is this something to do with the way size is indicated in the file managers? (I've checked in both Nautilus & Thunar).

The only indication that anything has actually installed is that when I right-click a file or folder and select "Create archive", I have format options which I don't recall before, though maybe I just didn't notice. The dialog box doesn't even say that it's p7zip. Then if I open a .7z or .tar file or whatever, it only opens with File Roller. So I'm not even sure if p7zip is working.

(I find no way to run p7zip directly - I tried all the obvious things like menus, right-clicking a file, CLI (surely the line command should be p7zip???) and can find no documentation

Thanks!

Last edited by Chriswaterguy; 04-18-2008 at 12:57 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 04-18-2008, 01:44 AM   #4
jay73
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That would depend on the nature of your files. Some files are already compressed (such as most media files), in which case compression will not work very well. It only does a proper job on files that contain lots of repeated information. For example, text files will have a lot of, say, A of m characters. Those can generally be reduced to a far smaller number so the compressed file is far smaller than the original.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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Try from the command line. Something like:

Code:
7z a archive.7z inputdirectory
 
Old 04-19-2008, 08:57 AM   #6
Chriswaterguy
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jay73: these are text files, so I think they should compress much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Try from the command line. Something like:

Code:
7z a archive.7z inputdirectory
-->
"bash: 7z: command not found"


A GUI would be a more efficient long term solution anyway - there must be a archiver with compression and a GUI? If not, there's plenty of freeware for Windows that I could try with Wine.
 
Old 04-19-2008, 09:31 AM   #7
Chriswaterguy
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I installed 7-Zip 4.57 for Windows (2000 or higher), with Wine. It's much clearer , but the resulting archive is still 2.1 MB.

Maybe text file don't compress as much as I thought. In any case, it's time to for me to drop this and get back to work. Thanks for the healp!.

 
Old 04-19-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
duryodhan
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Try different algorithms for compression ... for e.g on windows you could try the KGB archiver
 
Old 04-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #9
Chriswaterguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duryodhan View Post
Try different algorithms for compression ... for e.g on windows you could try the KGB archiver
I already tried a several, with the same result. After using 7-Zip 4.57 for Windows last night, a couple of different algorithms, I woke up this morning and found my folder was empty! I was relieved when I realized I had several archived versions.

Enough fiddling for me. I'm starting to accept that some things just don't work very well in Linux. But good enough.
 
Old 04-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #10
michaelk
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Interesting. Not enough information to know what is happening. Have you tried compressing a single file. Have you tried compressing the files just from the command line?

BTW tar by itself i.e no -j (bzip) option does not compress files. Typically text files compress on the order of 2:1 or 3:1.

As an example I used some files from my web directory which are pure ASCII text files totaling ~1.5MB. zip compressed them to 326KB and tar.gz size was 148K. I did not use a GUI manager. I used the default compression level i.e. 6 out of 9 for the zip file which is why it is larger but generally bzip will compress better then zip.

As stated there are many windows programs like winzip, winrar and 7-zip that support different file formats so compatibility should not be an issue.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
Chriswaterguy
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GUIs are good for regular people!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Interesting. Not enough information to know what is happening. Have you tried compressing a single file. Have you tried compressing the files just from the command line?
No, and no. Your comments on compression options might contain the answer - but the bottom line is that I expect the archive program to take care of such things, or give me the compression options.

As for CLI - that is always a last resort for me, and I'm not desperate in this case. I'm not a coder or am only semi-geeky (maybe my geekiness quotient is only in the top 5% of the population) , and a large part of my interest in Linux is seeing how regular people can use it, especially in poor countries. Bottom line: It's 2008, and I would really hope to see a GUI.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 11:30 AM   #12
michaelk
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Actually many linux GUIs are just graphical front ends for the command line utility which is the case for Gnome's Archive Manager. I do not use Archive Manager so I am unfamiliar with its options. Compressing the file(s) via the CLI would be a way to troubleshoot your problem. I could argue the fact that the CLI is far from being obsolete even in windows and that by avoiding it your missing out on using some very powerful tools.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 12:14 AM   #13
Chriswaterguy
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Why I avoid the CLI

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
I could argue the fact that the CLI is far from being obsolete even in windows and that by avoiding it your missing out on using some very powerful tools.

You could indeed make that argument and you'd be right. And I would argue that:
  • My aim is not to spend hours a day for months on end becoming a power Linux user, but to get my work done.
  • Most people will never reach this level of geekhood, and I'm interested in the tools that will be useful to the majority of the population, especially those without advanced education or tech support. (See Low cost computer guide.)
 
  


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