ZipGenius X Development Diary – part 6: the command line module.

When we don’t post anything for a long time, there is always somebody that ask if we are still active. Let’s make it clear: if we spend our time writing blog posts, we cannot do development progress; therefore, if we don’t write for a long time that means we’re busy developing something for you.

In a past blog post we wrote about the command line module which has always been a fundamental part of ZipGenius because it allows to create automated compression / decompression tasks with ease. We wrote that we are doing our best to keep the new version compatibility with the older one and the following is the very first image of what it will look like when you will open up Windows Terminal (or PowerShell or Command Prompt) and type: zg.

The list of commands you see in this screenshot is not complete because it lacks, as an example, the -backup command which is under active development, but it lets you admire some new command like -info and -hexview (many to come, however). This is what you will see by just typing “zg” because you may want to run it as a portable application from a USB pendrive; by default, it will be installed by ZipGenius X on its first run but… We’re making it available also as a standalone cross-platform application, then we’re providing to commands to install and uninstall it from a folder in your system.

We added a nifty progress bar to the most important commands.

In the previous version of the command line module, the user had to specify a parameter to tell the application whether to show the progress bar or not – usually, it was K0 / K1. In this new version, we decided to control this through the global option –noprogress (if specified, the progress bar will not appear, regardles of the command running).

As every good console application, the command line module will return an exit code. You can get the full list of codes by typing zg -help -exitcodes. The list depicted below is not complete yet, because we are adding codes day after day. 

The command zg -help will show the main page of the embedded helpfile that explains how to use the help command. Below there is an example (zg -help -add) that shows how much complete the help file will be.

Two most important changes are depicted in the images below. The first one shows the command -destroy, that is used to destroy (not just delete) an archive. The command fills the specified archive with random bytes for its whole length, then it deletes the file. In the example below, the number “3” specified how many times the process must be repeated: the default is just one pass but you can specify up to 10 passes.

Just as in the core ZipGenius X application, we added a hex viewer. Hardcore users often want to see what’s inside a file because a file is often not what it looks like. The command -hexview will show the bytes in blocks of 20 lines at a time, but you could increase or decrease this setting down to just one line or up to 500 lines. The “A” parameter will dump the entire file, eventually to standard output or to a file.

This command will also have search for bytes sequence and search for text features.

We are still discussing whether “-destroy” and “-hexview” must be limited to use them on supported archive formats only or open to be used on every kind of file.

UPDATE! This is the very first screenshot of the command line running in Ubuntu 22.04.


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