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      /  [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
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Poll : Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Yes, and ADF files should be distributed using cloud services like Mega and Google Drive
Yes, but ADF files should be distributed using Aminet and other established Amiga platforms
No, floppy images are a thing of the past and are cumbersome to deal with
No (other reason - please elaborate in the forum thread)
[POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 7-Feb-2021 20:45:31
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 419
From: EU <3 ❤️

During the recent years, a lot of Amiga developers seem to be neglecting the LHA format in favor for other file archive formats. Among these, the Amiga Disk File ("ADF") format have seen a surge in popularity. Judging by posts in other Amiga fora like the English Amiga Board, quite a lot of these software releases aren't distributed using Aminet, but rather using cloud sharing services such as Mega, Dropbox and Google Drive. In this special Sunday Poll, you are kindly but firmly asked to approach the ballot box and tell the world if this trend benefits the community or not.

That'll Put Marzipan In Your Pie Plate, Bingo
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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 7-Feb-2021 21:25:57
#2 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jan-2004
Posts: 386
From: UK


Floppy images are a good way to spread boot-sector viruses around that should’ve long died a death. Archive formats are better unless you’re specifically pushing a bit of software that needs a specific disk layout or custom loader to function (i.e. a classic game)

"Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard, be evil."

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 7-Feb-2021 22:43:23
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 671
From: Melbourne


.ADF is not a compressed disk format. LHA is a data compression scheme.
The two are not comparable.

So it's hardly about neglecting an archiving format although, there are better compression techniques out there now. Even .LZX offers superior compression to .LHA format.
Now that this has been cleared up, there is no reason why you can't compress a .ADF file with .LHA for smaller amounts of storage space.

As for .ADF, block level information is lost so, any type of copy protection is gone and IF you copy a physical disk to .ADF and there is any miss-read in the copy, the .ADF will always be broken. This also goes down to copy-protection.
Don't get me wrong, .ADF has its place. If you can copy a non-copy protected disk with error correction so that you can "recover"a failing disk, .ADF is fantastic. However, if you need a bit-exact copy of a disk that has copy protection on it, .ADF will just make a BAD/corrupt copy of that information because, it cannot store it.
.SCP for example, copies the magnetic flux of a disk to a file so, you can copy even protected disks for archiving.
Either way, .ADF is important.
Someone should make a recovery program to rescue failing non-copy protected disks that can make a working image, even using multiple drives to compare data as head-misalignment is a big problem on ageing floppy hardware.

It's not the question that's the problem, it's the problem that's the question.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 7-Feb-2021 23:26:38
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 1796
From: Canada


I prefer LHA but I have no opinion as to which is best.

Most of the software I have downloaded for OS4 came as LHA files, but I do have some ADF files in my E-UAE drawer which I can mount as floppy disks when I use AmigaOS 3.1 on my PPC system.


Last edited by redfox on 07-Feb-2021 at 11:59 PM.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 2:23:30
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2003
Posts: 2273
From: Minnesota, USA

DMS is accepted by most emulators nowadays and is compressed. Another alternative is ADZ, a zipped ADF.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 2:30:12
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6032
From: S.Wales


ADF is being used where it makes sense and not as alternative to LHA or other compressed archives. ADFs will boot on an Amiga with UAE or Minimig and similar hardware or real hardware with a Gotek or HXC without the need to have a Workbench installation. You can use DiskImage to mount an ADF on Workbench if you want to run software from there. If they were distributing software in DMS archives you might have something to complain about but they aren't.

Developers are free to chose how and where they distribute their software even if it doesn't suit you.

The poll is pointless.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 4:54:13
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2005
Posts: 172
From: Here and there


ADF are nice to handle on harddiskless setups. But I don't see anything against a broad variety of archive formats. LHA is easy to handle on common Amigas and UAE setups as well.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 10:42:11
#8 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1573
From: Cheshire, England

ADF is pretty handy format for really old school software, but kind of feel it loses its particularly when your dealing with a games bigger than one disk.

WHDLoad kinda of fixs that and I know there is limited support for running files in lha format, but again its not a perfect format.

I think its a shame rp9 (cloanto retro platform) format didn't take off more, become part of say WinUAE and the OS, yes its more focus at emulation and if you pull in adf into Amiga Forever it will try and find the details and covert them into rp9, but it might of been handy if AmigaOS supported the format and recognised rp9 via say a datatype, expand on the XML data so it not just UAE details but details to Workbench as to what libraries and files are required for the program to run.

Then not just games, but software could then be made/disputed in this format so that then developers know that not only Amiga system are going to be able to know whats going on but one click run on Windows platform, and of course rp9 format if it was built into UAE be supported on any platform.

AmigaNG, YouTube, LeaveReality Studio

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 13:25:10
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11632
From: Norway


"but it might of been handy if AmigaOS supported the format"

its a zip file, you can unzip it.

“I think its a shame rp9 (cloanto retro platform)”

Well exactly, they part of bundle that cloanto cleams they have the right to distribute, its piracy if you selling or distributing rp9 files from cloanto, I’m sure also clime some right to rp9 format as well.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 08-Feb-2021 at 01:25 PM.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 8-Feb-2021 16:21:08
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10146
From: Greensborough, Australia


I voted no. Technically, ADF isn't an archive format at all, it's a filesystem disk image. And it's not compressed, so it's wasting space, along with the extra overhead.

LhA has become the accepted de facto standard. It retains protection bits. All you need is LhA to unpack it as a bare minimum.

All you need is LhA. All you need is LhA. All you need is LhA. LhA. LhA is all you need.

OTOH, to read an ADF, you need extra software that can read from the image or mount it. Not as simple as one program. The base install was OS3.9 for a number of years which had Unarc out of the box. UnlessUnarc can read it out of the box it makes it hard to use

An ADF can also mean the game isn't designed for a modern system setup in the past 30 years, with a Workbench install and a HDD. For example, some ADF games can't even be loaded or extracted from the ADF, it must be written to a floppy. Or, since it's an ADF, booted with an emulator.

There seems to be this PC trend as well. Like relying on a PC to download the files. I do it but would prefer to do it directly from my Amiga if it was on the net.

As a comparison, sharing software as ADF would be like writing files to a USB stick, creating a raw disk image of it, then sharing the image file with your PC friends and expect them to load it into Windows and use it.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 9-Feb-2021 10:05:08
#11 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 16-Nov-2013
Posts: 407
From: Unknown


I agree. It's like asking whether ISO images or ZIP archives are the "ideal future PC archive formats". They serve a different purpose, so it makes no sense to compare them this way.

I see the jimmies have been rustled.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 13-Feb-2021 15:45:35
#12 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 11-Apr-2005
Posts: 714
From: .fi

I don't like the ADF format, because it doesn't have any kind of checksum to ensure data integrity. If an ADF file gets broken at some point, it's hard to detect or know it. This can be worked around by packing files, but it gets more clumsy to handle the files then. ADFs are also pretty clumsy format for hard disk based setups.

The worst thing is when these unpacked ADF files are distributed on those random cloud services... files are hard to find, they might vanish at any time, download pages don't work with Amiga browsers, etc. Aminet is just the best place to spread and preserve software.

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Re: [POLL] Are ADF files the ideal, future Amiga archive format?
Posted on 13-Feb-2021 23:47:51
#13 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 844
From: England, United Kingdom


LHA has long been the de facto standard Amiga archive format and IMHO should continue be so. You don't go changing things that have worked absolutely fine for 30+ years and messing up an entire history of archives by fiddling with different formats...

Google Drive, Dropbox and other bloated sites/services are fine if you want to alienate potential users who cannot access the service on their classic Amiga browser. Supporting established Amiga sites such as Aminet should be a no brainer for anyone who cares about the Amiga community. Plus you know your files will be much more widely accessible.

I was tempted to vote "No" in this poll on the basis that ADF's are not ideal and should not be the future Amiga archive format - but thought this would be unfair to ADF's which are far from extinct and useful for certain things. Downloading images to a real physical floppy for example or another device.

So there is room for both ADF and LHA.. but using ADF for archiving files that were never designed to fit on floppies is silly... use LHA


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