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PKZip E-Mail Files

Build Winzip compression into e-mail apps
  (+1, -6)(+1, -6)
(+1, -6)
  [vote for,

Why don't they (this is SOOOOO simple) build PKZIP 2.04G compatible data compression into e-mail programs. When attaching files, each file is automatically zipped up before being attached. (Default to zip, but with an option to add uncompressed.) At the other end, the recipient e-mail program would automatically unzip the files when they are needed.

Even people with out of date e-mail programs still have access to winzip/pkzip.

Rather than displaying the zipfile name, the e-mail program would automatically check the zipfile for a list of file names. (By giving the zipfile an odd name or adding an extra 2byte file to the zipfile you could ensure that if you attached a zipfile manually the zipfile name not the contents name would be displayed.)

How much download time would this save? And how much would it reduce internet bandwidth usage by?

;ike I said - this is SOOOOO simple. Come on Microsoft - add a feature we actually WANT for once.

CasaLoco, May 21 2001

RFC 2045: Format of Internet Message Bodies ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2045.txt
What a MIME message looks like. [jutta, May 21 2001]

RFC 2046: Media Types ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2046.txt
How to encode the content type of a MIME part. [jutta, May 21 2001]

RFC 2393: IP Payload Compression Protocol ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2393.txt
Or do it at a lower layer, for all IP traffic between hosts? [jutta, May 21 2001]

application/zip IANA registration http://www.isi.edu/...pes/application/zip
IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, keeps track of what MIME types "mean". Here's the explanation for the MIME type for a ZIP archive. [jutta, May 21 2001]

Fastmail http://www.fastmail.fm
All attachments are automatically zipped [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Outside of Microsoft products that tend to get this wrong, document types in e-mail are not determined by filenames, but by a MIME Content-Type header. Wrapping attachments into a ZIP archive breaks this model.   

       Neither PKZIP nor WinZip are free, nor are the compression algorithms used in them.   

       Many document formats (for example GIF, JPG, pdf) already imply compression.   

       [dgeiser, what is good why?]
jutta, May 21 2001

       And this is good why?
dgeiser13, May 21 2001

       WinZip sort of does this already. From within the WinZip application one can select "Mail Archive..." and whoosh it off to Uncle Sealy's house, or wherever it will do the most annoyance.
lummox, May 21 2001

       Well all I can say is Zip is by no means a standard. Unix uses a completely different compression scheme and so does the Macintosh. How are you going to know the person on the receiving end has the capability of unzipping? Wouldn't it better to do your compression at a different layer? Ithink if this was a truly beneficial concept it would have been handled by the IETF already.
dgeiser13, May 21 2001

       To answer your questions:   

       A - This is only meant for compressing attachements. B - Most computer users can get software to de-compress zip files - including Unix and Mac. C - You can buy a developer with distribution licence for ocx controls etc to open/close zip files. These lcences cost around £100. A licence for the Zip technology would probably cost very little. D - Mime comment - we are not changing the format of e-mail - you have missed the point - we are simple compressing the attachments BEFORE we attach them, and attaching the zipfile instead. E - AOL - Didin't know this did this - don't they have an option to turn it off?   

       Basically the idea is to give the user the option *BUILT IN* with no extra effort. Make it the default with an option not to compress and most users would compress. How much time would it save sending and receiving? Probably around 50%. Wouldn't matter to cthose of us with 512k Cable Modems, but people with 56k lines... 'nuf said.
CasaLoco, May 22 2001

       Compressing MIME parts does change the format of e-mail. If someone seriously did this without explicitly tagging the compressed files somehow (and the only existing way of doing this loses the type information of what's inside the Zip archive), it would completely disrupt e-mail between systems that do this and systems that don't.   

       Don't modern modems already compress?
jutta, May 22 2001

       [Jutta] - I've already answered this question: You don't compress the MIME, just the files themselves before you attach them.   

       The way and reason modern modems compress data is unrelated and irrelevant... half of the speed limitations comes fro the srver end not your modem. *you will be sending a smaller file*
CasaLoco, Jan 14 2002

       jutta has an important point though.. MIME types are important, critical parts of basic email functionality. you are not saying to ZIP the actual email, which would be folly -- so instead what you are saying is it would be: email - attch 1: myfile.zip (which is actually a word document zipped) - attch 2: myfile2.zip (which is actually a jpeg graphic)   

       now.. either you give it the MIME type of ZIP, which would now break the point of MIME since I couldn't really tell what kind of files they were unless I unzipped them (an email program, for instance, that wanted to ban all .exes from being attached would be screwed)   

       or you define the MIME type of myfile.zip as word to inform the server/transfer devices/programs properly -- however of course this is improperly because it is in fact a ZIP file.. causing all kinds of problems, especially those a MAC not user using your email program to automatically zip and unzip files
nhyatt, Jan 14 2002

       [nhyatt] you clearly haven't read any of the anotations.   

       It's the same as manually zipping the files and attaching them, except it does it automatically.   

       And in case you didn't know, you can get a PKZIP compatible compressor/uncompressor for a mac... if fact for almost any machine/OS.... that why I choose ZIP.   

       What is everyone problem with understanding what this idea actually is??? Is it too complicated for you???   

       Any decent Virus Checker will check inside Zip files automatically, so security issues are totally unfounded.
CasaLoco, Oct 29 2002

       Nearly baked in Linux (and many other Unix subspecies). Most Linux programs will recognize the GZip extension and automatically unzip a file with .gz at the end. Your Internet browser probably does this, too, when receiving gzip-compressed HTML documents.   

       GZip compresses my word processing documents down to about 4-5Kb, and could easily be added to a mail client.
ashibaka, May 05 2003

       I'm amazed this idea still hasn't been taken up by microsoft...
CasaLoco, Feb 12 2004

       Fastmail allows you to download attachments as ZIPs. Almost all comms software uses some degree of compression, so it's partially not necessary anyway.
FloridaManatee, Jun 03 2004

       I think this is a silly idea.
contracts, Jun 03 2004


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