7-Zip as a more efficient alternative to Zip for compressing Blender builds

:slightly_smiling_face: ok, well there are legitimate concerns with using less common fileformats, but as already mentioned an sfx container could be an option. And while changing nothing at all to the status quo is most likely simply good enough I dont see how a torrent performs better regarding your argumentation.

What’s really strange is your argumentation about 7z. Btw. there is no filezipper out there with lossy compression, simply because it makes absolutely no sense for general unspecific file compression, strange to insinuate something like would be the case with 7zip. And to call a well known piece of open sourced software that is maintained since over 20 years and used by millions of people “weird” is as strange.

And zip also doesnt work everywhere on its own. Its just that many oses deliver a tool for that, but again, how would that be better with torrents.

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Actually people these days are less likely to install anything at all except something from Appstore, Steam or similar. Most of times they just use browser. Things are way diffent now than back in 90’s. Today installing anything is usually avoided while people expectations is that things just work.

Blender is rare exception like couple of other specialized tools, for good reasons, but need to install some extra tool to install Blender is same as showing middle finger to users.

I personally like that Blender is available without installer while it can be modified and create own setup. I never download any installer in Blender, I put tested plugins and modification to package what I distribute to machines.

If we like to have thins complicated, maybe it is better to not use any archive tool and not distibute binaries. Just put link to some free hosting source repository where users can git clone and build software themselves.

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Is it yet ready in latest macOS, Windows, Ubuntu, Debian and Red Hat without hassle?

I don’t know sure but I excpect that there is, something that recognizes images, videos and sound and applies lossy compression to them automatically.

That is what matters. Internet works because everyone has browser.

It doesn’t, but technical people may have torrent available and some locations with very slow connections it may be preferred to use torrent while it split to pieces and can be interrupted easily. Making torrent available may save server resources.

But it’s not complicated… :smile:
This is not different than installing VLC to be able to read more video/audio formats, or installing a blender addon… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Also note that we are talking daily builds here, not official releases…

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For people who aren’t great with computers and haven’t heard of PeaZip, your google results for “how do I open a .7z file” are 99% sketchy, malware-packed monstrosities. Even just looking for “unzipper” on the Windows store gives you mostly malware. Without quite a bit of expertise and experience, it’s very difficult to know which unzippers are safe and which aren’t, especially when most of them aren’t. I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to be able to figure this out if Blender is supposed to be accessible- remember, a lot of new Blender users are as young as 11 or 12, or they might be taking a high school class and barely know how a computer works. I’ve personally encountered both, and neither group would be at all comfortable with figuring out how to open a .7z

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The instructions on how to open a .7z file would be on the daily builds download page, with legit links and stuff, so that shouldn’t be a problem…

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The efficiency is not that big… for example see (almost randomly choosen after search 7z compared to zip) howtogeek.com benchmarked-whats-the-best-file-compression-format

  • example A (863MB):
    – zip 86%
    – 7z 85%

  • exampel B (654MB):
    – zip 48%
    – 7z 46%

plus additional installtiion needed…
so… it’s irrelvant…

(for linux it’s called p7zip and available since 2004 … not open before)

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For sfx archives? Yeah sure.
And since when is a one click installer a hassle?

:joy:, no.

Well you assume that people are too unexperienced to install a program that could be linked directly next to the build and you ignore that nothing of this is needed at all for self extracting archives. And the typical learning curve inside blender is also steeper, than a simple description on a webpage would be.So yeah, I disagree with this conclusion…

Don’t laugh Winzip seems to be doing this see : winzip.com compare under

Compression Methods available:
|Detailed Features|WinZip Pro|7-Zip|
|Advanced WAV compression (WavPack)|||
|Advanced JPG Image File compression|||
|Advanced MP3 Compression|||
|Automatic selection of Best Compression Method by file type|

Ermm, Linux user here. What is the issue with 7zip - I can extract pretty much anything with no proprietary software. Can Windows users not do that? (Sorry for the Q - been years since I used Windows).

It depends on what you are converting…
Do a practical test, download the latest alpha, extract it, then compress it all using 7zip… You’ll see the difference…

Good find :grin:, but yeah maybe as an opt in. Technically there is no barrier to do this before zipping, (zip doesnt support such a mix), but think of how disastrous this would if you create a backup of your work and the zipper internally falls back per default to lossy compression methods for these filetypes. Thats why I put a smiley there.

We can’t by default…
Microsoft is tough, windows can’t even read h265 natively… :upside_down_face:

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Go figure. And here I was thinking that we (Linux users) were the ones lagging behind.

I stopped using SFX archives after the Stuxnet virus clone fest during the Windows XP era.
I got all my executables infected, including a lot of backup exe files in SFX format for convenience. So I didn’t even think about it as an option for blender, lol…

Hey @myway880,
sfx archives can be decompressed without using the internal executable. Riskwise there was no difference for you, it was as if you’d have used a plain zip.

But some more words on that more generally. You have to put a starting point somewhere, where you define that you will trust a source. Blender itself is an executable, so generally its also prone to being infected by a virus, as zips are.
Trusted authorities are in this regard a weak point for certificates, and so on. MD5 sums strings printed somewhere could be wrong, theoertically they could even be correct but another file was generated that used the same hash, what is very unlikely, but possible.
There is absolutely no higher risk in loading sfxs from blenders server over using blender as execuable itself and less of a risk to load an sfx from blenders servers than to load a blender zip from an untrustable source. So I find it wrong to imply increased security risks here.

Categorically, compression algorithms work by identifying redundancy. When the same sequence of bytes is found to re-occur (within the “sliding window”), it can be replaced by a much-smaller back-reference to it. But this means that the effectiveness of the compression depends entirely upon the data that is being compressed. (Far more than the choice of algorithm.)

There is also the consideration of "compression speed." The ZIP family of algorithms are intended to be “fast.” Other algorithms may achieve smaller files but require much more time to produce them. And, once again, it still depends on the input data.

I’m aware of all that, I was making a different point, not necessarily about blender. I was talking about is the case where my pc get infected by a virus from another source,

In that case all the executable files get infected, possibly corrupted, but if the files are only normal 7zip archives they are less likely to be affected…viruses don’t usually have native 7zip reading ability never mind the ability to modify them.

So they usually infect executables that are more accessible, e.g. non-compressed.
This doesn’t apply to zip, since it is very easy to add the ability to read and write zip to any app by importing the functionality that is built-in in windows itself

In that case, all my backup files could be lost if they are SFX archives, and I will need to redownload every thing that get infected, assuming I could tell that it was infected…

When it comes to concern over shady websites and software, I got my copy of 7-Zip (which obviously reads and writes .7z) from the official project website.
7-Zip

Open source, and last I checked it was not one of those sketchy places that try to trick you into downloading Malware. I do not think it is a very active project, but it still works on all compressed files.

I do have it installed, my original point was about an average non-tech user who get anxiety attacks from downloading any executable from the internet.

The amount of websites dedicated to answering the question, “is this software safe? Why do I have it on my computer ? How do I remove it ?” is huge!!.

A lot of them have the shady practice of trying to scare their visitors into downloading a software to fix their pc, only to infect them with malware or ransomware … or in the best case scenario, sell to them a better antivirus!

So asking your user to download another software to decompress is not that simple. Making it as SFX didn’t occur to me because of how long it has been since I used this kind of functionality, but it could work… some big companies even distribute their software as SFX RAR or zip files.

I think I got a few Windows driver from AMD during the 90s that were like that