Recent Info-ZIP News and Ancient Info-ZIP History
- July 2008 - Info-ZIP releases Zip 3.0. Eyes bulge.
- October 2007 - The ever-industrious Hunter has set up a new set
forums to replace the spam-infested "temporary" forum at QuickTopic.
Hooray, yahoo, and so forth!
- July 2007 - The replacement ftp machine hosted by Info-ZIP's own
Hunter Goatley has followed LEO's lead and shuffled off this mortal
(voice-)coil, too. Alas, woe betide, great sadness, etc., etc.:
ftp.info-zip.org is no more. Looks like SourceForge is it for now, although CTAN may also become "primary"
at some point in the future. (If so, it probably won't be with the
old ftp.info-zip.org domain name/path, unfortunately.)
- July 2006 - LEO, Info-ZIP's primary ftp host for the past
half-decade (see the September 2001 entry below), appears to have died
the final death. For now, you can continue to use the SourceForge site or any of the mirrors; we'll try to get the
primary ftp site hosted somewhere else soon.
- June 2006 - Info-ZIP releases Zip 2.32. There is something new under the
sun after all. Who knew?
- March 2005 - Info-ZIP releases both Zip 2.31 and WiZ 5.03. Formerly hot places experience severe
- February 2005 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.52. Jaws drop.
- May 2004 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.51. Ay carumba!
- August 2003 - Info-ZIP is finally forced to disable its public
bug-reporting e-mail address, Zip-Bugs:AT:lists.wku.edu, thanks
to the deluge of e-mail from W32/Sobig.F (or whatever it's called), which was running to several
hundred messages a day. (Will a certain software company's security
holes never cease?) In the future, all bug reports, both software- and
HTML-related, will have to be sent via a new web-based form.
We're sorry, but we simply don't have time for this
nonsense. . . .
- February 2002 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.5. Will wonders never cease?
- September 2001 - It took a month and a half, but Info-ZIP has a
pair of new host sites. Hunter Goatley, our own VMS guy and mailing-list
admin, is temporarily hosting the web site, http://www.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/. And LEO, the Technical University
of Munich's huge Link Everything Online archive, is the new
host for Info-ZIP's ftp site, ftp://ftp.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/. Big thanks to Hunter,
Daniel Lang of LEO, and Kai Uwe Rommel (who helped arrange the LEO
- July 2001 - The host for Info-ZIP's home site, FreeSoftware.com,
dies a horrible and apparently final death. (FTP access, and hence
most third-party mirroring, died in late April.) We're looking for a
new host or hosts for www.info-zip.org and ftp.info-zip.org...
- February 2001 - Info-ZIP releases MacZip 1.06. Hilarity ensues.
- January 2001 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.42. Merriment ensues.
- September 2000 - Info-ZIP (specifically, Mike White) releases
WiZ 5.02. And there is much
- July 2000 - Info-ZIP (specifically, the "Dirk Haase"
subcomponent) releases MacZip 1.05, also under the new license.
Source code and
available locally, as well.
- May 2000 - Web (HTTP) access to the new Info-ZIP home site is
finally enabled, and the old (very stale) site at www.cdrom.com is
turned off at last. The new web site, which should exist from now until
the end of eternity, is http://www.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/. Files may be retrieved via
ftp at ftp://ftp.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/.
- April 2000 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.41 and WiZ 5.01 under the new BSD-like license. Also,
Phil Katz dies unexpectedly.
- March 2000 - Surprise! The Info-ZIP home site moves from
ftp.cdrom.com to ftp.freesoftware.com. (No, we didn't know it was going to happen,
either.) In order to prevent this from happening again in the future,
set up as (currently) an alias for ftp.freesoftware.com, and it will
be redirected as necessary to ensure that it always points at the
true Info-ZIP home site.
- February 2000 - Info-ZIP releases WiZ 5.0.
- December 1999 - Info-ZIP releases Zip 2.3 under the new BSD/X11-like license.
- November/December 1999 - Al Williams' Windows Commando column
Zippity Doo Dah is published in Visual
It's a tutorial on using Info-ZIP's Windows DLLs in a simple Visual C++
application, the source to which is included in the
archive for Volume 10, Number 4, a.k.a. Issue 58. (See the file
commando58.zip within the archive.)
- November 1999 - Info-ZIP's former maintainer of Zip, Jean-loup
Gailly, is named CTO of MandrakeSoft (a large Linux developer and distributor).
- November 1998 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.4, now maintained by Christian Spieler.
- December 1997 - Info-ZIP releases
- November 1997 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.32, Zip 2.2
and WiZ 4.0.
- May 1997 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.31.
- April 1997 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.3.
- March 1997 - Zip and UnZip are named to the Best OS/2 Software list,
and PC Magazine lists UnZip in its 1997 Utility Guide (albeit
buried way in the back, third from the end).
- January 1997 - The Info-ZIP home pages and ftp site move to
ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/infozip/ , respectively, courtesy of
Walnut Creek CD-ROM. Info-ZIP's
new encryption ftp site is ftp://ftp.icce.rug.nl/infozip/ , courtesy of Piet Plomp; it has
the same directory structure as the main site but contains only
encryption sources and executables.
- May 1996 - The specifications for zlib, the deflate algorithm
and gzip are all released as official Internet RFCs (numbers 1950, 1951
and 1952, respectively).
- April 1996 - Info-ZIP finally releases
Zip 2.1, now maintained by Onno van der
Linden, and UnZip 5.2.
- September 1995 - Kevin G. Barkes
again features Info-ZIP in his September
column in what used to be DEC Professional, now renamed to
Digital Age. (The
relevant portion of the column mainly consists of quotes from Greg's
e-mail pointing out omissions and inaccuracies in the
column. Oh, the embarrassment.) Thanks, Kevin.
[Note: As of April 1997, all traces of DEC
Professional seem to be gone from the web.]
- July 1995 - Apparently the pale yellow background previously
used on this page got dithered undesirably on some systems (presumably
Windows and/or Macintosh, since the X version looked great, but we
still don't know). Anyway, the upshot is that it made the text hard
to read, so it's been removed while we try to figure out how to avoid
the problem. (If your browser doesn't support background colors,
don't worry about; it looked nice with the logo but certainly didn't
make any difference in the cosmic scheme of things. Unlike Info-ZIP.
- July 1995 - Info-ZIP's VMS ports receive a favorable mention
in the second half of
G. Barkes' column in DEC
Professional. (Actually it was more of a mini-review...)
[Note: As of April 1997, all traces of DEC
Professional seem to be gone from the web.]
- June 1995 - Info-ZIP welcomes Onno van der Linden as the
new Zip maintainer. Jean-loup will remain as Chief Compression
God, but Onno will take over all portability and features stuff.
Look for the 2.1 release before too much longer.
- May 1995 - ZiffNET Threads recommends UnZip and WizUnZip
as the preferred freeware unzippers for DOS and Windows. Cool.
(Then again, there aren't too many freeware alternatives...)
- March 1995 - George shows up out of nowhere with an early alpha
port to VM/CMS, blithely unaware that Info-ZIP had been trying for
years to recruit someone to help with such a port. Then he goes
and tops himself with a port to MVS as well. Yow, somebody hose the
boy down before he ports to another dozen operating systems...
- February 1995 - Chris takes the initiative and sets up the first
Info-ZIP web pages, with a little input from Greg. By golly, we're
- January 1995 - Mark, Jean-loup and Greg get involved in the
development of the PNG
graphics format, the officially sanctioned replacement for
This isn't directly related to Info-ZIP (although PNG's free reference
compression code came out of Zip and UnZip); it does, however, help
explain why new releases of Zip and UnZip have been a little slow
lately. As of July the PNG effort is nearing completion - as are
other things - so some serious Info-ZIP hacking should resume
- November 1994 - IBM bundles Info-ZIP code with the OS/2 Warp
BonusPak, in the form of the unzip.dll used to unpack various
things and restore extended attributes properly. This would never
have happened without Kai Uwe's hard work on the OS/2 port.
- August 1994 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.11 and 5.12 (which would
have been more appropriately named 5.2 and 5.21, but silliness prevails).
- February 1994 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.1, the first version
with ZipInfo integrated into the main UnZip executable. Some executables
are made available using a very early version of UnZipSFX (Info-ZIP's
- January 1993 - PKWARE releases PKZIP 2.04c (followed quickly by
2.04e and 2.04g), their first official release with deflation. Info-ZIP
releases UnZip 5.01 with support for a new deflation variant
(``superfast'') introduced with PKZIP 2.04c.
- August 1992 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 5.0 and Zip 1.9, both fully
supporting the new deflate compression method introduced in
PKWARE's PKZIP 1.93a beta release.
- March 1992 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 4.2.
- May 1991 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 4.1.
- December 1990 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 4.0, the core
of which was rewritten from scratch by Greg in order to make use of
the zipfile central directory. This version also marks the
passing of UnZip maintainership from David to Greg.
- August 1990 - Info-ZIP releases UnZip 3.1.
- May 1990 - The Info-ZIP group releases UnZip 3.0, its first
- March 1990 - Keith Petersen sets up the original Info-ZIP mailing
list on WSMR-SIMTEL20.Army.Mil, a DEC-20 mainframe at the White Sands
Missile Range in New Mexico, around the 22nd of March. David Kirschbaum
is the leader of the original group, coordinating patches for the UnZip
2.0b-2.0j betas and beyond.
- December 1989 - Carl Mascott and John Cowan release unzip 2.0a
for Unix with various performance tweaks and new -t, -v and -c options.
This version became the basis for the original Info-ZIP release.
- September 1989 - Sam Smith releases unzip 2.0 (C sources only?)
with new unimplode support (corresponding to PKZIP 1.01). One week
later, George Sipe releases a version ported to Unix. (This version
- March 1989 - Samuel H. Smith releases version 1.0 of his
PKUNZIP-compatible unzipper for MS-DOS, with both Pascal and C source
code available. Unreducing and unshrinking are both supported.
Info-ZIP is aware of eight ``imposter'' zip programs, at least two of which
create (or used to create) .zip files:
- Unisys mainframes (formerly Burroughs) have had a ZIP command
as part of (what is now) the Unisys Extended Algol language since 1965
or so. This predates all other zips discovered so far, not to mention
some Info-ZIP programmers. Although it's limited to Unisys boxes, it
does mean that any eventual Info-ZIP port to Unisys will have to rename
Zip to avoid name collisions.
- Infocom's Z-code Interpreter Program was first used in July 1979,
long before either Info-ZIP or PKWARE existed. ZIP was both the
name of the interpreter and the filename extension for machines like the
DEC-20 on which ZORK was created, according to Marc Blank, one of the founders of
Infocom and primary author of ZORK. More recent, third-party
versions of the interpreter all have been renamed to things like
JZIP and FROTZ (both of which are reported to be actively
maintained as of late 2001), apparently, but they are all derived from an
open-source clone by Mark Howell that was also named ZIP.
(The freely available data files tend to use other filename extensions
these days, too.)
- There was a Commodore 64 utility called Zip-Code--which may sometimes have been referred to
simply as Zip--that could RLE-compress and convert a 160K
GCR-formatted floppy image into four image files. A variant called
Zip-Code SixPack omitted the RLE encoding and wrote six files. The
Commodore didn't use filename extensions, but these files were
sometimes available on PC-based bulletin board systems, and apparently
it was common to give them the extension .zip there. The utility
was later ported to the Commodore 128, as well.
[Thanks to Tom Crescenzi
and Marko Mäkelä
for the information.]
(ATK) comes with a (now-obsolete) drawing editor called
zip that creates these files (incompatible with .zip
archives, of course). CMU's zip also predates (1984) both
Info-ZIP and PKWARE, but fortunately it has been replaced by a program
called figure that uses the extension .fi.
- Eric Meyer wrote a DOS
serial file-transfer utility called ZIP; it probably predates Info-ZIP's program by a couple
of years (1988) and may also predate PKZIP. It doesn't create files
with a .zip extension, however.
It may have been mentioned in PC
Magazine at some point, but Greg was probably thinking of the
ZCOPY ("zip copy"??) program published in early 1989.
[Thanks to Ben
Finkelstein and Ian
Scott for the details on Meyer's ZIP.]
- Silicon Graphics may bundle an editor
called zip with some versions of their operating system. It has
apparently been renamed to jot in newer releases. The zip
editor was certainly publicly released long after Info-ZIP's archiver
and may have been created later, as well.
- Chris Barker on
7 April 1995 posted an article to
ZIP, ``a simple, efficient pseudo-random number generator.''
Info-ZIP sent him e-mail pointing out that it's already a pretty busy
name space; he said he'd consider changing the name.
- Attachmate has come out with
some network software called ZIP! SNA and ZIP! Console
(as if we needed any more `zip' software, exclamation point or no...).
- Harry Neelam of Sydney, Australia, appropriated the infozip.com
domain name on 12 May 1998. Needless to say, he has nothing to do with
Info-ZIP. The web site was empty (aside from mentioning
``Cassandra'') for a long time, but as of late 1999 it finally had some
In any case, there's nothing to be done about any of these now; just be aware
of the potential name collisions and file incompatibilities, and upgrade to
figure if you still have Andrew zip installed.
(And in case it wasn't obvious, Iomega's Zip Drive is completely
unrelated. As far as we know, so is the OS/2 ZipStream utility.)
Last updated 4 October 2008. Web page maintained by Greg Roelofs.
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