Disallow RAR files

Can we disallow the RAR extension for uploads? I have to go to some pretty shady online rar->zip conversion websites in order to unpack them. Or, if we can convert rar into zip behind the scenes, that would be even better.

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Free and open-source 7-zip can unrar, too.

Sure, there’s ways to do it, but it’s throwing roadblocks up where none need exist.

I don’t like rar, either, just wanted to get you away from the shady parts of the internet. :slight_smile:

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In that case we should allow RAR, since it would mean a roadblock for the user to search for tools to create something different if RAR is what the user is accustomed to and can already create…

If you can create Rar you can create Zip. Rar is non-standard, Zip is standard, we should enforce standards.
Also, files are downloaded potentially many times and uploaded only once, so making it easier for downloaders should take precedence over making it easier for uploaders.

But, if we can auto-convert rar and 7z and whatnot to zip automatically, that would be the best possible solution. In fact I suspect it makes a lot of sense to even recompress zip files, using the highest possible compression rate. It would reduce required storage space and it’ll be quicker to transfer across the information superhighway.

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Hi. As far as file size for compressing Rhino files (Saved Small option) ZIP is the least efficient at doing so and yields the largest file size.
ie. ZIP may be the most popular but it also the worst at it’s job.
7Z files are the best and RAR is quite close.
See comparison below:
7Z is open source and is perhaps an option to incorporate directly into the Rhino Save Small option? - Michael VS

I can not repeat that significant difference. Trying various compression algorithms (but all using Ultra compression quality), yields very similar results between 7z and zip:

@brian , are you the one who ultimately decides on this?

I think we all can ‘ultimately’ decide this. It seems like an unnecessary barrier that we are placing on users of our system by not allowing them to upload rar files. Auto-converting uploads is extra work that no one here would have the time to work on since it is not at the top of their priority list.

You can always ask the user to repost as a zip if it is really a problem for you.

I agree with Steve. Now that you’ve got tools for benchmarking 7z, RAR, and Zip files, it looks like you should no longer need to wade into the shadowy corners of the Internet to decompress RAR files :slight_smile:

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Sure, but it was never really about me.

I wasn’t clear whether the onus would be on us, or the discourse developers to actually write some code. If it’s us, then it’s definitely something that needs to be postponed until we actually have some time on our hands.

We would have to contract the discourse devs to do this. It would also take time from away from one of us for the communication and testing.

There’s a setting for it. I just disabled RAR uploads - If it’s not a net improvement for people, we can turn them back on.

I don’t get it, especially how we could possibly measure that this new barrier is an improvement for people.

I don’t get any of it. I’ve re-instated RAR files so we can bat this conversation around some more. Really, it takes like 3 seconds.

Who was it for? When I search for “open RAR file” in Google I don’t end up in shadowy corners of the internet.

It’s about people on this site sharing files. When I upload data I try to pick formats that people are likely to be able to open. I don’t share images using *.doc, I don’t share tabular data using *.xls, and I don’t upload *.rar files because there are alternatives to all those that everyone can open. (png, csv, and zip respectively)

Rar is not something Windows can deal with out of the box, you need to install winrar or 7z or something first (hell, I had 7z but it didn’t register with the format). So I figured I’ll use an online rar->zip converter in order to open an upload here, and all three sites I found rang alarm bells in terms of shady ads, soft-core porn banners and suspicious downloads.

I think it’s a mistake to allow upload of a non-standard format which is difficult to open. It will either:

  1. Make people give up on a discussion.
  2. Waste the time of potentially many downloaders as they look for solutions.
  3. Have people end up on websites that are nsfw, shady, or outright dangerous.

I agree, why RAR when you can ZIP? I thought RAR died 10 years ago…
(but I don’t see why the discourse shouldn’t support it. I mean, PDF’s can also be used for shady business, and if you look online for a PDF->something converter then you’ll end up with dodgy banners.)
I guess the metapoint here is that Windows should support RAR out of the box.

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@SatyaNadella, you paying attention?

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