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Relation Eugene & Alexander Roshal[edit]

Is Alexander Eugene's son? brother? step-brother? Does anyone know? -andy 14:48, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I suppose Eugene won't be against if I publish here a part of our correspondence: Alexander is my brother and he is handling business related stuff. Development is still my task. - Eugene Roshal May 9, 2006 00:24 (UTC) Artem-S-Tashkinov 06:37, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


Removed "(pronounced Rare or letter by letter)." An e-mail correspondence with support at WinRAR confirms "RAR will be pronounced like the English words 'bar' or 'car'." In actuality, no pronunciation assistance is needed since the spelling is phonetic, however this error has been propagated across a vast number of web sites, so perhaps adding "(pronounced like the English words 'bar' or 'car')" in would be beneficial. Thoughts?

Agree, but I cannot find any actual evidence to support that this is how it was intended to be pronounced by the authors of WinRAR. I pronounce it that way too, but I can certainly imagine others pronouncing it differently, or saying "ar ei ar." For the time, I would say it's not necessary. Anyone who is going to talk about any file format is better off saying the letters (like in this case "ar ei ar" than RAR) because not everyone will know what they are talking about then. And same for OGG files; I got used to reading "o ji ji" probably because MP3 is not mpuhthree, it's "em pi three", and I hear others saying "og", and sometimes don't understand what they are talking about till I realize they are talking about audio. I think most people encounter these types of files on their own (or learn from others the way they pronounce) and therefore learn their own way to pronounce and when they have to say it aloud they say it that way, and it would take some time for them to change their pronounciation. Zip is an obvious one, but MP3 has to be said, and some people say "o ji ji" and some say "og", and some people say Wave and some say WAV and even some say PCM. It's all subjective.--Tatsh 01:03, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Tatsh, did you even read the above? Says with e-mail correspondence with winRAR. Just e-mail them yourself if you can't believe.

Questionable Content[edit]

The comment "Older versions of the file format used a proprietary but strong encryption algorithm" seems questionable. Are there any references to verify this?

The statement "RAR provides effective lossless compression of Linear PCM audio files (commonly stored as .wav or .au) where other generalised compression formats (zip, 7-zip) do not. The compression ratio is typically between 50%-90% dependent on the complexity of the source audio and the predictability of the incoming waveform." is unclear and misleading.

"between 50%-90% dependent on the complexity of the source audio and the predictability of the incoming waveform"
Does this add something? All compression, no matter what the source is, depends on the source entropy (i.e.: complexity and predictability) --Outlyer 14:41, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but I agree with the statement. I've tested it out myself, comparing RAR with 7-zip, both using a 2048K dictionary and highest compression available. WinRAR was able to compress more, and it's close to listenable lossless (FLAC, WavPack, etc) formats (With the proper plugin, ZIPs and RARs can be listened to using foobar2000.--Tatsh 00:53, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree about the encryption. There's no reference given for its strength, and proprietary algorithms are almost always fairly weak by professional standards [1]. Changing to " a proprietary encryption algorithm". Electrolite 22:46, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't like the notion of "Both formats are still being actively developed." WinRAR 3.0 was out several years ago and the core compression format and compression ratio has not changed since. Isn't it better to say "Both WinRAR and 7-Zip applications are still being actively developed."? Artem-S-Tashkinov 07:12, 28 September 2007

RAR algorithm[edit]

Is there any external or internal link on article containing RAR algorithm and principles of RAR compression? Thank you for help.

  • it appears that Win.rar GmbH has not released any source code for RAR version 3, with the only description being at this site. RAR version 2 was publicized but is now obsolete.[2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anon lynx (talkcontribs) 07:05, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

When was RAR first released/implemented?[edit]

When was the first release of rar? I can see a post on comp.compression dated May 18 1994 inquiring about it but it seems it had already been out for a while by that time. It seems odd to have the creator's birthday listed here but not a date associated with the object of the article. There's an article in relcom.archives dated April 12 1994 that's the first I can find.

Tagging an archive onto another file[edit]

The article says that one of RAR's "other features not previously found in many other archive formats" is that they can be tacked onto files such as images, since RAR ignores everything before its header.

As far as I know, you could also do this with ZIP format files, since the directory is at the end, so ZIP utilities should be able to read a ZIP file with an image prepended to it. They may warn unless the ZIP file is "fixed-up", though (pkzipfix, I think, or zip -A using Info-ZIP's zip command). Not really a unique feature IMO, though a slightly unusual one, perhaps. -- pne (talk) 07:01, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

"RAR files can be embedded in other file types, probably the most common being JPEG."
Really? Is embedding RAR files common at all?--Outlyer 14:24, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Wrong, ZIP is incapable of embedding(you can try it with most software). RAR embedding is common in imageboards or when exchanging "hidden" files through public sites.

Biographical data[edit]

Removed "Eugene Roshal" as a link. The link "Eugene Roshal" redirected to this page.

  • The biography of the author should go onto another page.
  • I agree. This article and its discussion page seems to be heavily biased by the corporate sponsors of WinRAR. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 21:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

RAR File Archiver Software[edit]

A user recently undid my attempt to remove the corporate advertisement for WinRAR software and replace it with a forum for listing various applications that support the RAR format. I fought back and notified the user, reinstated my edit, and removed the advertisement to its own section.


Can the fact that compressed files are sometimes larger than the source, a fundamentally unavoidable consequence of information theory, really be regarded as “computational overhead”? -Ahruman 02:10, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

  • This discussion belongs in the talk page for the appropriate article file compression or related. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 07:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Corporate Advertisement / Improper Usage[edit]

  • It looks like the creator of 7-zip has been using this page as publicity. As it happens 7-zip does not come with any explanation of how to use it, and despite a long attempt I could not extract anything except another file which was unreadable.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:41, 11 May 2006

  • I believe this article has been heavily influenced and therefore biased by WinZIP corporate sponsors. My attempt to list RAR software other than RARLAB WinRAR was almost immediately undone. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 21:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The author's (Eugene Roshal) use of this page as his personal biography is another obvious misuse of wikiopedia. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 07:29, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
  • This page reeks with ad-like statements from Rarlabs. WinRAR is an outdated piece of software and can't compete with free, open source alternatives. Stating that it performs as well as LZMA (7zip) is a joke. I say from experience that rar can't compete with 7z, both in speed and compression ratio. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

The comparison with other compressors is equally laughable, merely asserting that it is inferior, and then reading more like publicity for free and open software than a wiki. No sources or citations there either. Should be removed or reworked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no consensus. -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 13:23, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

This page should be at "RAR" instead of "RAR (file format)". The current disambiguation notice and disambigutation page should remain the same. RAR redirects here not. The other RAR uses are just proper nouns who's initialization happens to be RAR, which merits a disambiguation page, but not a disambiguated title for this page. savidan(talk) (e@) 15:43, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually RAR (file format) should be moved to .rar see .arc for another file format usig this form of name. Vegaswikian 18:10, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Then the move should be withdrawn and relisted as to .rar. GraemeLeggett 11:34, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Since the only edit to .rar was to fix the redirect when this page was moved, I'd be willing to make that move if there was support here to do so. Vegaswikian 05:24, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Isn't the file format still "RAR" whereas ".rar" is just the file extension? Most everything on the Net refers to the "RAR" file format. I don't think ".rar" would be right, and it is a non-standard sort of article title, and ".arc" wouldn't be right for the same reason. —Centrxtalk • 04:58, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed, per above. – Axman () 09:23, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't think overwriting RAR with this article is appropriate; that abbreviation also stands for a number of other things, some of which could become articles. I don't believe Windows' .RAR format is so ubiquitous (except online, where Wikipedia is already biased) that it should default to this. -- nae'blis 19:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed, should not be moved. --TimOertel 02:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Nae'blis. We may all know what RAR is, but the majority of computer users do not. I've seen this for myself. And, although RAR has gotten a lot of momentum from file-sharing, it may never truly break into the mainstream, considering that zip (as opposed to unzip) support is limited to paid software. (Also, the argument that RAR is "really" RAR, while the other uses are just initializations, doesn't hold water, since RAR itself is short for Roshal ARchive.) --Groggy Dice 03:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

MIME type audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin?[edit]

Why does this page list "audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin" under the MIME types of RAR? I don't think the RAR archiver has anything to do with Real, I'm removing this for now. -- intgr 14:13, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Restoring with free software?[edit]

List_of_archive_formats#Archiving_and_compression says that RAR can be extracted with free software? If this is true: what free software can extract current RAR archives?--Hhielscher 19:34, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The 'External links' section of the RAR page has this to say:
  • Unrarlib – a library for decoding RAR (version 2) archives based on the Roshal's code, is GPL compatible
  • unrar – a simple Free Software unrar utility using Unrarlib above
  • 7-zip an open source windows file archiver that supports unpacking (but not packing) RAR files, as well as other formats.
-- intgr 20:07, 4 October 2006 (UTC) and this article have now been updated to reflect the fact that the decompression code is not open source in 7-zip. It is true that you can decompress version 2 archives but those seem to be rare nowadays so for any practical purposes RAR can't be decoded with free software. (I'm a total wikinewbie so please excuse me if this comment has wrong indentation or something). --lindi

"as with all compression algorithms..."[edit]

To clarify, output spacing does not matter, if you have N bits decompressed, you simply can not represent all 2^N possible decompressed results with only 2^(N-1) possible compressed ones. All compression algorithms have the potential to enlarge data, even if it's a single bit. Riotgear 06:02, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Can anything based on Roshal's code really be GPL compatible?[edit]

They say that the library is licensed under the GPL but doesn't the GPL prohibit the kind of thou shalt not reverse engineer conditions that the original author placed on the code? I seem to recall that this kind of additional restriction beyond the terms of the GPL isn't allowed.

Maybe the author has since removed that requirement, though it certainly doesn't sound that way. -- 07:36, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Depends on version... And no, it's a "binary glob" GPL workaround to use it. Like it mentions for 7Zip. (talk) 08:31, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

List of archived files[edit]

Somebody please mention in an encyclopedic style that RAR format has another specific feature. The list of archived files is not kept in one please like Sevenzip or Zip. Instead each packed file begins with a header containing the relative path and filename. To read the filelist a program has to seek through the entire archive. This must be taken into account when archives contain many files or are to be accessed frequently. -- J7N

Can someone verify this claim? What versions of the RAR format does this apply to? Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 07:15, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
It's true and this problem is addressed in WinRAR 5.0 Artem-S-Tashkinov (talk) 11:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Nickname Inclusion[edit]

I've known a lot of people to cal Rar archvies "RARchives". Should this be included on the page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hawk27 (talkcontribs) 19:14, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


What's with Parchive mention in the beginning of the article? It's just some of the many tools which could have been used with rar archives. One of (maybe) thousands of tools... Why special mention? Recovery record actually made much more for reliability of rar archives, it was quite a novel thing at the time. Of course, external redundancy-adding tools was almost always there, but were very rarely used. Recovery record, on the other hand, as a built-in feature made redundancy really popular, and improved life of floppy swapping by a very large margin :) That's what could be mentioned... Not some 3rd party tool which only appeared in 2001, when Rar was already a mature software... Also, in 2001 Rar was around v2.80-v2.90, so v1 was essentially obsolete. -- (talk) 13:40, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

"RAR passwords" Link[edit]

I just removed the following from "External Links":

* [ Online RAR Passwords]

I did so because I feel this may be a way of breaching copyright and I don't feel it right at all for Wikipedia to encourage breaking the law. Apologies if I'm wrong, but I felt it was important to stop this if I am right, since it's potentially wuite a serious issue.

If anyone has evidence that this is legal and wants to reinstate it, feel free. Thanks Greggers (tc) 20:20, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

The article should state that rar is primarily used for piracy somewhere. It's probably the only reason it's so popular, warez d00ds just pick it up assuming it's the only way to put files on the internet and use it.

.... PFfffttt HAHAHA Sorry, that's funny. I thought it was the shareware authors that encouraged the use of archivers. Most of the 'warez d00ds' just found that most people have installed a tool like WinZIP or WinRAR and can thus read RAR archives. ZIP files have horrible compression and can't be solid, don't have recovery, don't support a lot of newer stuff, and so on. Saying that only (or even mostly) it's used for pirated files is kind of like saying that HTTP is only popular because of email and Youtube. It was out long before the existence of even Napster. Now as far as how many of the installations of WinRAR itself that are pirated... hehe no one knows! (talk) 08:29, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Added Link to File Compression[edit]

I though it would be a good idea to add a link to file compression at the bottom of the page (under further reading).

Jasper Cook (talk) 20:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Usually for internal links to Wikipedia articles, you would just do this: Data compression (File compression redirects to Data compression anyway), instead of this: Data compression. Additional article links would also probably go in the See also section instead of "Further reading". In this case, Data compression is already linked on the first line of the article, so I feel it would not be necessary to link it again. --Spoon! (talk) 20:24, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Change icon[edit]

Make the icon the default for windows or winzip. Even though the current icon is from a free source using a copyrighted icon is justifiable as it is recognized by more people. The Unarchiver is a great app (i use it) but the audience is very limited as it is an optional app on OSX that few people use compared windows.

Proprietary format[edit]

I added information that RAR file format is a proprietary format. According to the RAR EULA, the RAR compression algorithm is proprietary.[3]

I also removed a statement that RAR is a "documented" archive file format, because I don't found any reference about full RAR format documentation. -- (talk) 13:01, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

You should have done your research further. The recent versions (since around 2.9) have become proprietary. It is not that hard to get ahold of the older source code.

Silly nonprogrammer (j/k but read rest!) It is a fully documented, but proprietary format. This is not a contradiction because:
It's pretty hard to make UnRAR without source that includes said documentation. That describes the format entirely, otherwise some archives would not decompress (this should be common sense). Now as far as how to create the archives in the first place, you have to write your own encoder but this is possible since you know what format UnRAR expects. Of course, that's against the license to the more recent versions of the UnRAR source code. The article isn't entirely correct about the fact that the license forbids making your own RAR compression tool using UnRAR's source code. If you look at the different versions, you'd notice that it changed in 2.9 to the more restrictive license. Before that, you could make your own RAR archiver based on the format documentation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Awkward if not bewildering English[edit]


This section has some rather awkward English sentences:

1. "In computer science, RAR is a file compression and archiving of the proprietary format."

Better perhaps is: RAR is a proprietary file compression and archiving format used in computer science.

2. "Eugene Roshal conditional discloses decoding program source code, but the code is still proprietary."

Better perhaps is: Eugene Roshal conditionally discloses the source code for decoding, but that code remains proprietary.

3. "RAR format by WinRAR, WinMount and other software to open RAR file extensions are.Rar, MIME type of application/x-rar-compressed."

Maybe this means: WinRAR, WinMount and other software open RAR format files whose file extensions are .Rar, and the MIME type of application/x-rar-compressed.

4. "It is a lossless data compression, RAR file is usually better than ZIP file compression ratio to be high, but the compression speed is slower .Because the RAR file header will occupy a certain space, in a little room for data compression, the compressed file can be greater than the original file."

Better perhaps is: It is a lossless data compression. While often slower, RAR file compression is usually better than Zip file compression due to the higher compression ratio. Occasionally the compressed file is larger than the original file due to the RAR file header's size.

The rest of the section continues in this awkward manner. I am not an expert on file compression. I came here to learn more about it. Therefore, I am reluctant to correct this section lest I misinterpret the writer's intent or blunder in some other way. However, it does need editing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 26 December 2012 (UTC)