Zip compression built into Panther’s Finder; will StuffIt wither away?

“Since the public unveiling of Mac OS X 10.3, codenamed Panther, during June’s World Wide Developer Conference, Apple has provided developers with a pair of updates for the forthcoming OS that remains under active development. The latest distribution, dubbed Panther 7B21, was frozen last week and was briefly distributed to developers over Panther’s Software Update module. Soon after, the release was made available via a 3 CD image set on Apple’s Developer Connection servers. Coupled with the 7A202 build released a few weeks earlier, the two seedings provide a number of speed and user experience enhancements over what was already made public in June,” reports

Of particular interest in this report of Panther 7B21 (besides the “Quartz engine is said to be almost 40 percent faster than Jaguar’s on desktop machines”) is the mention that “the fate of Aladdin System’s StuffIt suite may be up in the air with Apple’s embodiment of Zip compression functionality built directly into the Finder’s contextual menu system,” AppleInsider reports.

The full article, with screenshots and small quicktime movies of new features, is here.


  1. Mac has had this for years, too. It’s been supplied pre-installed on all Macs, from Aladdin systems. The question now, is whether that will still be the case. (If not, Aladdin loses a gateway for people to upgrade to their paid versions.) Having it be part of the Finder in future, instead of StuffIt sounds fine to me. There will still be those who need to buy StuffIt for its more advanced features. (And I’ve been using the handy freeware DropCompress anyway.)

  2. Not to mention, for some reason my Windows clients often have trouble figuring out how to open .zips, while my Mac clients can always just double-click.

    I don’t think zip decompression HAS been standard in Windows for too many years at all. But it has been on Mac, thanks to StuffIt Expander (not just for .sits) being pre-installed… since Mac OS 8 if not before.

  3. I agree Nagromme, I think it’s a great idea. I too have already been using the free DropCompress… and I’ve been using it to make .gzip files!

    And zippy, you are incorrect. Only the recent Windows XP has built-in contextual menu zip functionality.


  4. Aladdin has been getting by on too little for too long. They are on the right track by making use of the unix subsystem (what’s with this .sitx???). Let’s see some creative use of the existing underpinnings provided with OS X.

  5. Alladin have really let this product go. The current OSX version is not multi-threaded and ties up OSX Finder completely. I’ve already moved to using compressed dmg;s for archiving and now try to avoid stuffit.

    I think they’re going the way of Cassidy & Greene. Oh well, that’s EVOLUTION.

  6. Hey, zippy…
    This site is called MAC daily news, not WINDOZE daily news. I guess you just got lost. I mean, more lost than when you bought that Wintel piece of crap (which you know is just a half-assed cobbling together of rip-offs from Apple).

    But if you do a search on Google for Windoze, if you know how, you’ll probably find a buttload of sites devoted to talking about all the pathetic problems you guys have with your colorless boxes. Enjoy. Why you hang out here is beyond me. I mean, I understand you’re jealous and all, but your little jabs only underscore the transparency of your presence here.

  7. From what I have heard, the only thing being included is “ZIP compression”. If I’m not mistaken, and this is per Aladdin’s DropZip, “The Zip format can not handle Macintosh resource forks correctly.” That is why DropZip has the additional options like pre-encoding archives as MacBinary. So unless Apple’s Zip routines account for resource forks in a similar fashion, people are likely to be unpleasantly surprised… However, since Apple has tried to maximize cross-platform functionality (cf. DiscBurner burns CDs as HFS+/ISO-9660 Hybrids), this is a not-unreasonable expectation.
    Without the support for MacBinary, I don’t see this as a major attack on StuffIt, whose products provide MUCH more functionality (like self-extracting archives), and the StuffIt .sit format(s) are still the Mac standard for compression…

  8. It is not wise to double-click anything you recieve from outside you’re own environment. The .zip suffix doesn’t mean it’s a zip file.

    It’s better to drag compressed archives onto the opening apps icon (in the Dock for example). That way you won’t run the risk running harmful software.

  9. Usage: Whither ,Where . Whither properly implies motion to place, and where rest in a place. Whither is now, however, to a great extent, obsolete, except in poetry, or in compositions of a grave and serious character and in language where precision is required. Where has taken its place, as in the question, “Where are you going?”

  10. > ha ha ha

    > windows has had this for yeeaaaarrrrsssss….

    > keep playin’ catch up Apple!


    You’ll have to troll much better than that to reel in any diehard Mac users. There’s a reason why we’re crazy about the Mac, made the switch and never looked back.

  11. This development only stands to reason. A modern operating system should integrate all fundamental file management functions — compression being one. Leaving this to third parties was fine for personal computers 10 to 15 years ago, but it’s more an OS function to mind the file system. Thus such functions as disk maintenance, optimization, diag/repair, file recovery and journaling, archival and compression, batch renaming, browsing and navigation, search and retrieval, secure deletion, encoding/conversion, encryption, ownership and permissions, attributes and properties, syncrhonization, back-up, file sharing, file comparing tools, etc. ALL should be the province of a modern, robust operating system.

    Third party developers are certainly at liberty to offer products which do the OS one better. But these functions are basic, and no customer today should have to go to a third party to purchase each of these things as separate products. So Apple is definitely on the right track here.

  12. On Win 95, MS had PKzip, basic decompress tool, freeware. No archive, had to use utility from Norton for example. Users usually, on MS recommendation, used either free or paid WinZip to decompress. Later, WinZip added archive functions at least to the paid version. I have the paid version.
    Sometime after WinSE was out, MS provided MS self-installer to developers, royalty or free, depending, which both decompressed and installed. This is a very good piece of software.
    WIN XP has archival functions, I understand, but if zipped doc files are received, WinZip is still used. I do not have XP, switched and still have 98SE on my PC.

    IMO, don’t like the current sit Stuffit situation, just want to get installed without fooling around with it. Hopeful that Panther will simplify the decompress, install, perhaps with a self-installer.

    Just installed GIMP and ABIword from OpenOSX,com and they have a really nifty self-installer, so one is available from open source.

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