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    I recall having mentioned software preservation and its challenges here once or twice before, and it went over well, so I thought I’d share this blog post that I ran across. I have to admit that dealing with this stuff sounds like a fun job to me, but definitely not an easy one…

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      They do good work at the IA. I interviewed for a job there back in the dim mists of history, and it had a very appealing hacker vibe, with lots of managing around money constraints, and developing really interesting systems. Great offices, too.

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      Not a lot of technical content. The issue with modern zip archives is apparently new addressing modes to handle larger files that aren’t universally supported in unzip tools.

      A different issue I’ve come across with zip files on Linux is filename encoding. Some compression tools still don’t use UTF-8 and some of the decompression tools on Linux don’t handle the filename encoding at all and just dump whatever bytes they get into the file system. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to fix the filenames then.

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        The issue with modern zip archives is apparently new addressing modes to handle larger files that aren’t universally supported in unzip tools.

        It also seems to note that if you store your ZIP on a FAT32 disk it might get truncated and be called corrupt by mistake or the file that it decompresses might be larger than 2GB which leads to problems.

        I don’t know, it seemed mostly like a rant about stuff failing but the ZIP format can do pretty little about that. Plus, most of these old files are way smaller than 2GB (back in the day your HDD was smaller than 2GB to begin with), so it seems like quite an edge-case.

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          I don’t think this piece is advocating for anyone to abandon the ZIP format. You could make similar complaints about literally any format, including plain text. If the article has a point, it’s to spread awareness of the challenges that archivists face, for the purpose of highlighting the importance of funding that work appropriately.

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        This doesn’t make any sense. The article takes a really long time to get to “some 32 bit implementations of zip don’t work with some files made on 64-bit impls” but there’s no actual reason that should be a thing.