PKZIP : Java Glossary

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PkWare logo  PKZIP
PkWare version 14 Last revised/verified: 2012-05-23 creates various compression utilities including PKZIP for Windows ( $30.00 USD ) and Unix, including various types of encryption as well. You can buy a DCL (Data Control Language) library to do compression in your own programs. The catch is, it only handles compression of an array of bytes, basically a GZIP class. It cannot deal with the complex PKZIP archive format. The documentation on how to use PKZIPc.exe, the command line version, is in a file called Program Files\PKWARE\PKZIPC\PKZIPc.pdf. PKZIP.exe is the old DOS-command line compatible version. The gui interface program is called PKZIPw.exe.

PKZIP can decompress zip, jar, tar, gz and tar.gz files.

PKZIP offer a free reader that can decompress any format of zip file, but not compress them. This allows you to unzip even files compressed with PKWare proprietary formats.

free pkunzip reader  DownloadFree PKZIP Reader


Pkware’s founder, Phil Katz wrote PkArc for DOS (Disk Operating System) to compress files. It used the same format as SEA Arc. In the legal battle that ensured, Katz was blocked from using the arc format, a major blow to computer industry as a whole because the ruling broadly interpreted copyright to effectively include algorithms and file formats. Katz’s code was in assembler and was much faster than the high level SEA code. The issue was muddied because Katz had seen SEA’s code. Katz then created the Zip file format and made it public domain so competitors could use it to. It has become the defacto compression standard. It is also used in Java jar and war files. Katz died in 2000.

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