Archives (also known as Compressed files), are a single file which works like a folder, containing many other files, which are under compression, which reduces their file size. Archives are a file format, a binary file which ends with an extension telling what type of archive it is. Many different archive formats exist, each with differing compression ratios. Different programs also have different compression rates.
In order to compress (add to) or decompress (open) an archive, you must have a supporting program.
- 7-zip - The pioneer of the lzma (7z) compression format, the most widely used in the Glest community, this cross-platform program is open source and supports decompressing most archives and can compress to many popular archive formats.
- ARK - A cross platform, open source compression and decompression program which is defaultly bundled with most KDE operating systems, and supports most archive types.
- WinRAR - The RAR format is less commonly used in the Glest community, and it can be opened by 7z, though only WinRAR, a commercial program, can create RAR files.
|Format name||Extension||Compression rate||Speed|
|7-zip||.7z||1 High||1 Medium/Fast|
|Zip||.zip||3 Low/Medium||1 Fast|
|Bzip2||.tar.bz2||1 Medium/High||3 Slow|
|Gzip||.tar.gz||2 Medium||3 Slow|
|RAR||.rar||1 High||1 Medium/Fast|
|Archiver||Mozilla Firefox||Google Earth|
|Compressed size||Ratio||Compressed size||Ratio|
|7-Zip 4.23 (7z format)||4621135||100%||6109183||100%|
|WinZip 10.0 beta (maximum-PPMd)||5277118||114%||8200708||134%|
|7-Zip 4.23 (zip format)||6222627||135%||8909446||146%|
|WinZip 10.0 beta (maximum-portable)||6448666||140%||9153898||150%|
Originally, the classical zip format was the most commonly used archive format, but in the past few years, the 7zip format has become the dominant format, with the majority of mods being released in that format. GAE supports 7zip for addons as long as they are non-solid (solid means that data is stored as a single block, which can reduce file size, but requires all files to be decompressed in order to open any). These advantages along with its superior compression and high customizability make it the idea choice for Glest mods.