Full support for WinRAR files PLEASE!

This is such a great program but the only thing that keeps me going back to ExplorerPlus/Powerdesk is the poor support for RAR archives (as well as others). WinRAR makes the unrar.dll freely available, if it's the same one powerdesk uses, I don't understand why Dopus cannot handle the files the same. I can view them just the same as zip files (tree side acts as folder) as well as unzipping multiple files (both RAR and zip). Roll the archive abilities of ExplorerPlus/Powerdesk into Dopus and Novatix and Ontrack can pack there bags!! You guy's are hot their heels!!

BTW, I have yet to get the RAR files to open , even after setting up my file types as explained by another poster.


Opus 8 already comes with a plugin that gives you read access to RAR archives using unrar.dll. Follow the instructions at gpsoft.com.au/DScripts/faq.asp?faq=9904.htm to configure Opus to open RAR files on double-click.

Unfortunately RAR is a proprietary, closed format, and so read-only access is all that is available.

If RAR is a closed, proprietory format how does Powerdesk and Explorerplus manage to handle them exactly as zips?

What good is it to be able to open RARs read only? I might as well just right click and use WinRar. (which I do, but built in support would be so much nicer)

As I stated previously, despite a few shortcomings, Dopus seems like a great program. If they want to ever dethrone Powerdesk and Explorerplus they'd better take a good look at the feature set of these 2. Here in the US, PC Magazines have always passed on Dopus for some of the same reasons and have so far named Powerdesk or Explorerplus the best.
My reasons for wanting Dopus to fill the spot? It actually seems a bit more stable and quicker.
But as always....just my humble opinion.


As far as I can tell, ExplorerPlus actually invokes WinRAR when adding to RAR archives. There is a brief flash of the WinRAR window when you drop a file into a RAR archive in ExplorerPlus - and if you delete or rename the WinRAR program folder, mysteriously ExplorerPlus loses this "ability".

As I said before, RAR is a proprietary format. They do not make any third-party SDK available to allow creation of RAR files. We would love to provide full RAR support but until the creators of RAR either open the format or release a third-party SDK, read-only access is the most we can offer.

Assuming you are being serious and not just trolling, I would love to see a list of this so called "feature set" that Opus is apparently so lacking in.

As I've said before:

[quote]If you want better RAR support, write to the people at RARLabs (who make WinRAR) and ask them why they don't either licence the RAR engine to 3rd parties or allow 3rd parties to hook into the the RAR engine on machines where people who have bought and installed WinRAR.

Opus is stuck using the pretty awful unrar.dll which is why the RAR support is what it is (slow and read-only).

I personally wish that people would stop using RAR and switch to an open format, or at least one that can be licenced or plugged-in.

I'd like to have a go at adding 7-zip support to Opus in my spare time, once I've got various viewer plugin stuff out of the way, so that may come sometime, but as it is I don't think many people use anything but Zip and RAR, for whatever reason.

(I know some other programs do have read-write RAR support but it seems they spent the time to reverse-engineer the file format and compression algorithms, which is a big, difficult job.)[/quote]


a) I may be wrong about RARLabs. Maybe they do licence the format or the ability to hook WinRAR into other programs, but I can't see any information about it and, last I looked, everything suggested they didn't like the idea of people using anything other than WinRAR to create RAR archives. If I'm wrong and they'll licence it in some way then yipee.

b) I don't work for GPSoftware and this is just my personal opinion on the whole RAR thing.

c) If anyone knows of RAR specifications or source code on the web that would allow a better RAR plugin to be written than the unrar.dll one we have now I'll be more than happy to write it, but there doesn't appear to be any information so it's impossible. People who have worked out the format seem to keep it to themselves.

Jon & Nudel,
Thanx for the replies.
I am using Explorerplus 6.20 and have just installed it on a clean virtual Windows 2000 machine . It has FULL support for RAR as well as ( copied from the website)Support all major compressed archive formats, including ZIP, RAR, Z, GZ, TAR, ARJ, LZH, PAK, ZOO, CAB, ARC, and DWC. All viewable as folders from the directory tree.

As far as feature set, well maybe that was a bit of an overstatement. There are a few simple things that Dopus does not have "out of the box" such as copy to and move to commands in the context menu, ability to drag and drop directories to the toolbar to create "buttons" (Similar to favorites but on the toolbar)
FTP sites listed in the dir tree, to name a few (and maybe the only ones!!)

I understand that Dopus can be customized to do these things and so much more but I spend enough time working on computers , I'd prefer the simple stuff to just be there. I referenced a PC Magazine review to see what I had read in the past and the only real downside was the advanced features. Way to complicated for the average Joe. I've read that in other reviews as well.

I know I'm also being myopic about the RAR features but I like RARs and am used to having them act like any other zip.I truly do not understand what the difficulty is ( not being a programmer, I never will) but I will take your advice and email WinRar as well. The rar source code is available if that's what is needed. new.win-rar.com/rarextras.html

For the rest of my trial period I'm going to uninstall explorerplus and see if I can "cope" with my missing features. LOL
I've been playing around with some features and I really like Dopus. It is really fast and good at some of the things that Explorerplus sometimes flakes out on. If it could only do .........


The Great Philospher Jagger once said...You can't always get what you want....

Well I don't claim to be an expert on ExplorerPlus :slight_smile: But I do have a copy and, from what I can see, it simply invokes WinRAR. I don't have the absolute latest version so maybe this has changed.

Well it would be silly to make DOpus a 100% clone of ExplorerPlus "out of the box", particularly since it is trivial to configure most of these if you really want them.

Incidentally, you can drop folders on the toolbars to create buttons when you are in Customize mode.

That is the source for the UnRAR DLL, which only supports extraction. As Leo has said, it would be possible to use this to reverse-engineer the RAR format and so add write capability, but this is something that we, as a small company, do not have the resources to do.

Plus, if all the possible Opus functions and variants were added by default the context menus and toolbars would be about 5 screens long and impossible to use. :slight_smile:

Here are the buttons for Copy-To and Move-To. Just copy the text in each box to the clipboard and then paste onto an Opus toolbar or menu while in customize mode:

[DOpus.ButtonInfo] Name=Copy To Icon=2,9999999 Flags=2,0,0 Color=0,a0a0a0 Func1=Copy TO={dlgfolder}[DOpus.ButtonInfo] Name=Move To Icon=10,9999999 Flags=2,0,0 Color=0,a0a0a0 Func1=Copy MOVE TO={dlgfolder}
Finally, another thing about the unrar source is that it doesn't tell you anything about how the data is compressed. You could make a compatible compression algorithm from reading the unrar source but, unless you're an expert in compression algorithms and/or have a lot of time on your hands, it's very unlikely to be as good as the real thing, which defeats one of the three* reasons for using RAR. Even a bad one would still take a lot of time to work out!

[*1) Better compression than Zip. 2) Multiple-file spanning. 3) Because other force you to use it to view the files they send you. :slight_smile:]

But only to make buttons which go to the folder. If you want a dynamic menu which shows the contents of a folder, like when you drop a folder on an Explorer QuickLaunch bar, you can't do that in Opus right now AFAIK. Not sure which JW wants, though.

Just use the rar.exe file and set it up to handle rar files. Not the winrar.exe, since u dont want the ugly GUI showing up..

Can someone explain how to implement this suggestion?


I have come across a problem with winrar support in dopus.

When files with accented characters are extracted from a .rar file using dopus, the accented character in the file name is replaced by a character represented on screen by a square box.

When the same file is extracted using winrar, the accented character correctly remains in the file name.


Here is the code for a 3-button winrar
LMB: Extract here, Overwrite files
RMB: Open Selected File with Winrar
MMB: Extract here, Overwrite files, Delete Archive

Copy & Paste the following onto toolbar during customize mode.
You NEED to have WinRar installed for this to work.

You could also add files to RAR using this same idea, however i just use the context menu for that...

[quote="dforrest"]When files with accented characters are extracted from a .rar file using dopus, the accented character in the file name is replaced by a character represented on screen by a square box.

I have compiled the rar.dll with unicode support. If there is interest, I can email it e.g. to nudel.

Regards, Norbert

Total Commander provides for user registration of various packer types. (see pic). This eliminates the "legal" aspects of integrating the packer directly. e.g.

If the user owns WinRAR, TC detects and installs the hooks, if the user adds WinRAR later, the user simply uses the Packer dialog to register the program. If the user does NOT have WinRAR, then the packer is not registered and only UNRAR becomes available (as does DO now).

This also applies to just about any other packer utlity: 7Zip, Ace, BZ, GZ etc.

This approach just flat out works. I have never had a problem with it. Seems like taking this approach in DO would make mucho sense.

I think it completely sucks that you have to resort to calling WinRAR via the commandline and parsing the text that it outputs. Parsing the output of another program can be difficult and tedious to get right and can also result in a fragile program, especially if all the different messages that can come out of the program aren't documented. It also means you're very limited in what you can do as everything has to be batched up into command-lines that do as much as possible in one go (for speed) and you have very limited error handling abilities.

That said, it is probably the best way given that it's impossible to use the RAR format any other way, except the very limited unrar.dll.

A generic "command-line archiver" VFS plugin is something I'm thinking more and more about writing in anger but I have a bunch of other things to do before I take a serious look at it and I do this stuff in my spare time. Maybe someone else will start one before I get around to it. (e.g. Someone who cares more about the RAR format. :slight_smile:)

Yeah, it does suck but sometimes it's the only way.

I've had to write plenty of custom intefaces on consulting gigs I've been involved in where client databases and in-house proprietary software was involved. As an integration engineer for a CAD company, the product I integrated had an excellent API for doing this, but the software guys in my company wouldn't touch anything the field people wrote with a ten foot pole. They provided the tools but then washed their hands. :laughing:

But that's not a bad strategy. If GPS disconnects itself from the interface and does not offer support except for the API (or if the client want's to pay for it), then their liability and support issues are moot. If I had the time I'd do it for the fun of it.... sadly I'm so freakin booked that this isn't a high priority.

I will reiterate that Ghilser's packer interfaces for TC are rock solid even though they are command line driven. I've used them for years and have NEVER had them break. I guess garbage in = garbage out applies.

I wonder how long it took him to make his parsing code reliable, though... Still, it does seem to be the only way so that's where we'll head, I guess.

I have modified the VFS-SDK. The unrar plugin has following new features:

  • unicode support
  • new columns "HostOS" and "Packing method"
  • rars with crypted file names are handled

You need the newer unrar.dll too(also in the archiv).
unrar_src.zip (22.4 KB)
unrar_plugin.zip (115 KB)

I don't think I have any unicode RAR archives to test with but nice work, Nosh! I'm sure some of the other guys will find it very useful.