Important Changes Under StuffIt's Hood

It's not often when a developer makes you aware that its software has been rewritten from the ground up, as that typically indicates some real problems with the previous version. For nonprogrammer types, it's the coding equivalent of rewriting an entire screenplay for a film instead of just reworking the ending. Yet, that's just what Aladdin told us when they came into the Demo Room last week.

But don't think that means there was something wrong with StuffIt Deluxe 5.5. Rather, it's that version 6 takes advantage of Carbon, the new programming system that allows developers to create applications that run on OS 9 and OS X. Thus, StuffIt 6 is not only a more powerful program, but it also will run natively on OS X.

The new version of StuffIt has the look and feel, as well as much of the same functionality, as the Finder -- no matter which OS you're using. So, users will find the interface familiar. The application features a customizable menu bar, as well as AppleScript integration. For new users who don't have the most current release of CarbonLib, StuffIt 6 will install it for you, assuming you have OS 8.1 or later.

There are also a couple of new features in StuffIt Deluxe 6: the return receipt function and the archive search. The return receipt function lets you attach a return receipt to let you know when the person who received the file unstuffed it. (This works much like e-mail notification regarding delivery of an e-mail.) The archive search will come in handy if you're looking for a file inside an archive. Much like a Sherlock search -- and actually using the original Sherlock interface -- it first searches for the archives on your drive, then searches through those archives for the specific file.

When you find what you're looking for, you have the option of opening the entire archive or just pulling out that single file. This is a very useful feature for anyone with a plethora of archives.

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