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E-mailing zipped .pla doesn't work

Thomas Holm
Booster
Currently collaborating with another office. They're on AC6.5/MacOS, I'm on AC7v3/MacOSX. What happens is that when they try to e-mail me a .pla archive, it only works when it's uncompressed (not zipped).

If the archive they send is zipped, I unzip it and when i try to open the .pla form ARchicad, I get this message:

"Input file is incorrect or memory full. End of file."

I guess they've done something wrong when they zipped it. Any clues?

Thankfully, both our ISPs support large attachments to e-mail, because the unzipped .pla is 26MB, which translates to over 40 when mail-coded. Zipping the archive results in a 3MB file. A huge difference, probably because the archived .pln contains some TIFFs.

I will try to workaround this by only exchanging module files, but I'd still like to know what's happening.

Thomas
AC4.1-AC24SWE-25INT; OSX11.5; MP5,1+MBP16,1
9 REPLIES 9

Aussie John
Newcomer
I've seen Mac to PC problems but not mac to mac.
Check you are both using the same compression software.
Cheers John
John Hyland : ARINA : www.arina.biz
User ver 4 to 12 - Jumped to v22 - so many options and settings!!!
OSX 10.15.6 [Catalina] : Archicad 22 : 15" MacBook Pro 2019
[/size]

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Thomas wrote:
If the archive they send is zipped, I unzip it and when i try to open the .pla form ARchicad, I get this message:
"Input file is incorrect or memory full. End of file."
Can the PLA's from AC6.5 on the Mac have a resource fork? I can't remember anymore.

If you don't know what I mean, a single Mac file (from the user's perspective) can actually be two files (or forks), one for data and one for resources. If you copy a Mac file with a resource fork to another platform, it will strip off the resource fork and only copy the data fork.

The same thing can happen with zipping. Depending on what compression software they use, resource forks can be retained or discarded during zipping. For example, ZipIt has an option to "Use MacBinary". If you are both on Macs, try using Stuffit instead.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Ben Odonnell
Newcomer
Thomas wrote:
Currently collaborating with another office. They're on AC6.5/MacOS, I'm on AC7v3/MacOSX. What happens is that when they try to e-mail me a .pla archive, it only works when it's uncompressed (not zipped).

If the archive they send is zipped, I unzip it and when i try to open the .pla form ARchicad, I get this message:

"Input file is incorrect or memory full. End of file."

I guess they've done something wrong when they zipped it. Any clues?

Thankfully, both our ISPs support large attachments to e-mail, because the unzipped .pla is 26MB, which translates to over 40 when mail-coded. Zipping the archive results in a 3MB file. A huge difference, probably because the archived .pln contains some TIFFs.

I will try to workaround this by only exchanging module files, but I'd still like to know what's happening.

Thomas
Thomas.
If you are using the program zip it, I know from 1st hand, that it damages ArchiCAD files. If its from mac to mac why don't you SIT them instead?

HTH
Cheers.
Ben
Ben O'Donnell
Architect and CTO at BIMobject®
Get your BIM objects from bimobject.com

Aussie John
Newcomer
If you are using OSX10.3.x then use the inbuilt archive under the file menu (makes a .zip file)
Cheers John
John Hyland : ARINA : www.arina.biz
User ver 4 to 12 - Jumped to v22 - so many options and settings!!!
OSX 10.15.6 [Catalina] : Archicad 22 : 15" MacBook Pro 2019
[/size]

Thomas Holm
Booster
Thanks for all useful tips. The problem occurs whenmy collaborator (on AC6.5/Mac9.2.2) send zipped (saved as cross-platform) archives (.pla files) to me. When I get them and unzip them (OSX10.3.3 does that automatically) my Archicad 7v3 complains that they are damaged.

As Ben suggested, they use Zipit. I've used it myself for several years without problem, and never heard of it damaging Archicad .pla files before. Wonder why?

Now I'm on 10.3.3 and don't need it anymore. You've all suggested a number of working workarounds for this issue and I thank you for that.

But the issue raises another question - why isn't an Archicad .pla file compressed enough to not need an external program? It should not be too hard to implement compression in the archiving process.

It's not good enough when an archive shrinks to a tenth when zipped. Maybe Djordje would be kind enough to add this to the wishlist!

Thank y'all

Thomas
AC4.1-AC24SWE-25INT; OSX11.5; MP5,1+MBP16,1

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thomas wrote:
...But the issue raises another question - why isn't an Archicad .pla file compressed enough to not need an external program? It should not be too hard to implement compression in the archiving process.
The .pla is a working file format. Compression would impede (or prevent) this. GS could offer a "Compressed Archive" format for file transmission, but I would rather they focus on our big wish items and not get into file compression and the support issues that could arise.

I think your experience is very unusual. The only compression problems I can recall were from non-standard formats (back in the early days) and people just not having the right versions (easily fixed).

Djordje
Expert
Thomas wrote:
It's not good enough when an archive shrinks to a tenth when zipped. Maybe Djordje would be kind enough to add this to the wishlist!
Why me? You can do that!!
Djordje



ArchiCAD since 4.55 ... 1995
HP Omen

Thomas Holm
Booster
OK OK. Matthew has a point. Maybe I should delay this wishlist item for a while. But on the other hand, today's computers are fast enough to make real-time compression and expansion a reality.

As I see it, there would be other advantages to this as well. In this forum, people have complained that having libraries and archives on servers when working slows things down.

Maybe a way to enhance performance (besides shelling out for Gigabit networks) would be to have archives in some Archicad-internal zipped format on the server, and make the workstation Archicad fetch the archive from the server to a local temporary file at the opening of a project. This would apparently (see above) reduce network traffic by a factor of ten, thus relying more on the fast workstation computer and less on network speed. Whaddya think?

Thomas
AC4.1-AC24SWE-25INT; OSX11.5; MP5,1+MBP16,1

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thomas wrote:
As I see it, there would be other advantages to this as well. In this forum, people have complained that having libraries and archives on servers when working slows things down.
I suspect that compression would still slow things down. I don't think (I could be wrong of course) that network speed is the problem with library loading. I suspect it has to do with something in the way ArchiCAD is handling the communications. I remember when ArchiCAD would load libraries so fast over the network that the dialogs would barely have time to appear.

We are also getting close to the point where gigabit will be the standard. The prices are getting down to where it will be no big deal to upgrade. Especially for Mac based offices where most of the computers already have gigabit built-in. D-Link has an 8 port switch for about $300US and a 24 port model for about $800US.

Let's hope that GS speeds thinks up for us in AC9. If they decide to follow my suggestion of combining the .pln, .pla, & .plp into a single combined file format that should also speed things up.

BTW: The only times I have seen significant (i.e. very serious, i.e. major data loss) problems with file compression is when it was used as a standard method of storage. Stacker on the PC and E-Disk on the Mac wreaked similar havoc on their respective platforms.

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