StuffIt Deluxe 8 | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

StuffIt Deluxe 8

06 October 2003

I purchased and installed StuffIt Deluxe 8 for my Mac. Having used it for a couple of weeks now, I’ve had the following thoughts:

  1. In contrast to many others, I do like the new icons.

  2. The “Stuff by Rename” feature is very nice, and something I missed from the old Classic version. It allows you to archive files and folders just by adding the appropriate extension to their name in the Finder, e.g. .sit, .sitx, .tar, .tgz.

Many people have expressed concern over the fact that Aladdin used a KEXT (Kernel Extension) to achieve this functionality, comparing it to “killing a fly with a bazooka.” So what’s the problem? Well, if Aladdin introduced any bugs in the KEXT, it could cause a kernel panic on your system, as opposed to just killing the Finder or some other app, the way more cleanly designed implementations would.

That said, I’ve personally experience no stability problems since introducing StuffIt 8, and I’ve not heard of anyone else with problems either.

  1. The old stuffit format, .sit, does not preserve Unix permissions. That means that if you stuff an application in OS X (which is really a folder), then it won’t launch when unstuffed, because the Unix execution bits are not set. The solution is to use the new stuffit format, .sitx.

I wish Aladdin, in StuffIt 8, made that more apparent to the users (like with a big splashing warning!)

  1. StuffIt Deluxe 8 introduces a new Backup tool that has the potential to be quite nice, but unfortunately isn’t. The tool allows you to specify a periodic stuffed backup of your files, and to date-stamp the name of the backup. Very nice! It even uses the Unix cron utility to schedule the backup, instead of reinventing the wheel with its own scheduler.

So what’s the problem? You can only backup your home directory, or one of the pre-selected folders that StuffIt 8 allows you to select! – i.e. you can not choose any arbitrary folder for backup. Good grief, what were they thinking!

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