My laptop ran out of space yesterday. Why? Useless ZIP files!
I needed to download a Windows Virtual Machine in order to upgrade the firmware on a device (long story). The official Windows 10 VM is 20GB
It downloaded reasonably quickly – yay fibre! But I had to wait almost as long to unzip the bloody thing. Whereupon, I discovered that zipping the file – and it was only one single file in there – saved a whole 200MB. Yup, a 1% saving.
As it happens, I downloaded the wrong VM. So I downloaded the right one. A similar size, although this had couple of files in it – but the ZIP didn’t save much space.
At which point, my laptop – not unreasonably – threw a wobbly because I’d suddenly consumed 80GB of space!
I’m sure you’re about to tell me that there’s an esoteric Linux command that will automagically extract a file, delete the original archive, and repartition my SSD for optimal layout – but that’s not the point.
Every web server can – and should – gzip files on transmission. Manually zipping a single file on your server doesn’t save any download time. It doesn’t save any bandwidth.
Perhaps it makes sense to bundle a few related files together – but if it is a single large file, a .zip just wastes the time and disk space of anyone who downloads it.