compact (Gene Olson)

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File Format
Name compact (Gene Olson)
Ontology
Extension(s) .W
Released ~1991

compact is an obscure file compression utility, and associated file format, developed by Gene H. Olson. It appears to have been abandoned early on, due to patent concerns.

It uses LZW compression. It is essentially an improved version of compress, with an incompatible format. The recommended filename suffix is a capitalized .W.

It is not related to the older compact format that uses adaptive Huffman coding.

Identification

There is a big-endian format, which starts with bytes c5 a3, and a little-endian format, which starts with a3 c5.

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