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MAMEBase's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 5
File Formats, and Compression Methods - A Proposal

Having worked on, and with Macs for over 20 years, I believe I have a fairly good grasp of how different systems, files, and file formats have evolved on the Mac platform over the years.

However, being fairly new to Macintosh emulation (but not new to emulation by any stretch of the imagination), I've struggled a bit with some of the various file formats I've encountered on this site, and getting them to work with some of the various Mac emulators available.

I can only imagine the problems someone new to both the Mac, and Mac emulation must be facing.

In order to understand where I'm coming from, it's necessary to tell a short story (I tend to ramble sometimes, but I'll try and keep this brief... Smile )

The original copy of 'Uninvited' on this site was corrupted, and in my efforts to find a replacement, I finally located an individual who had a working copy, and was willing to share.

The problem was getting he file to me. He was running Mini vMac on a Windows machine, and moving the file from his emulated Mac environment, to his Windows hard drive, compressing the file and sending it to me was destroying the file.

After about a week, we were about to give up, when, in a fit of desperation (and a moment of 'Duh' on my part, I sent him a zipped, blank disk image (formatted within Mini vMac), and had him mount the image, copy the files, unmount the image, re-compress (zip) it, and send it back to me.

Success!

It seems that compressing (zipping) a Classic Mac application will destroy it's resource fork, rendering the application unusable.

However, if the files are contained in a disk image file, the disk image can be zipped without damaging the contents.

This got me to thinking about the files stored and made available here at MG.

I notice that many of the files (especially the older ones) are stored in various Stuffit (.sit) formats, and many are further processed in .bin, or .hqx formats, among others.

For the sake of consistency, and compatibility, I would like to propose the following-

- From this time forward, all submissions to Macintosh Garden be made in the form of files uncompressed where appropriate (excepting where files are in the form of an installer, or Self-Extracting Archive (.sea) ) contained within a Disk Image File (.img or .dmg), said disk image to be formatted with a Macintosh Operation System not to exceed version 7.5.5 (This insures a proper HFS Standard format, Systems prior to 8.1 cannot read an HFS+ format).

- Disk Image Files to be compressed with a standard 'Zip' format. No '7z'. No further processing, as even a large disk image, with a small file will compress down to a reasonable size when zipped.

- Extra files (Cover Art, cheat files, external documentation, any files not included on an original disk) to be contained in a folder, along with the disk image. The entire flder is then zipped as a single archive, to keep the files together.

- Existing files on MG be reprocessed to conform to the above standards. I realize that this is a tall order, and I stand ready to assist in any way possible. It will take time, but the end result will be a consistent, and compatible collection of files useable by any of the existing Macintosh emulators, on any platform.

I am not a moderator of this site. This is just a proposal. I welcome discussion and debate, and would like to know what the community at large thinks.

I'll be watching this topic, and I also welcome anyone with questions to contact me directly at mamebase@mac.com .

Thank you for your attention.

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Euryale's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jul 22

I've done this before, actually I uploaded the Carmageddon Game that way
(inside a big .dsk virtual drive or container)
check the post
http://macintoshgarden.org/games/carmageddon-1

but I guess some users were a bit confused by that and in an effort to make it an Standard file,
the original file (disk container) I uploaded, was changed..

Even the very first file I uploaded to this site was Pagemill 2.0 inside a .dsk container that really worked and the response i got was this:

"bad it's a zip file"
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/adobe-pagemill-20

without even trying it!!, so I re-uploaded it as a regular .SIT file

that made me assume that this method of transfering Mac files was Unknown (actually, i was surprised by that) and hopefully this can be used more often 'cuz also when compressing this type of files they compress very well, almost half its size and are very easy to set up plus you don't have to deal with Stuffit expander and Disk Copy.

I'll keep an eye on this post

IIGS_User's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 8

"bad it's a zip file"

I remember this one. Sorry about that.

Also, HFS+ can only be read in Mac OS 8.1 or newer.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Just a few issues:

Floppy disks, disk images and CD-ROMs, even today in OSX 10.5 are still HFS. HFS+ is only used in 4GB+ disk sizes. If someone has created an HFS+ floppy image or CD-ROM image on the site, it's probably warez - like a lot of the stuff here, there's only a few of us who make the effort to upload (HFS) disk images of the original install media.

Zipping a Mac OS disk image from Disk Copy v4.3 or v6.3.3 will usually corrupt the disk image. These disk images contain resource forks and will be lost. OSX Disk Utility (.dmg) disk images do not have resource forks.

Extra Files - Far too sxpensive to have one of us download a 360MB file, to add a serial or extra manual amounting to a 4K file, then uploading the 360MB archive again. Then all those who have already downloaded the 360MB file, must download it again. Been there, tried that.
If you'd like to contribute $120/month to the site, we could adopt this.

Edit:
Uninvited from the site downlaods and plays perfectly. Did you upload the version you obtained ?

SwedeBear's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 18

And about the originality. The complete install disk/s or only the installer file? I vote for a 1:1 copy where it´s possible, ie the original media still exists. Else archive it preserving the content and to most compatible fromat.