ArchView or how to use web archives without downloading them

If you have ever needed just a single tiny file trapped inside a very large archive somewhere in the web, you know how frustrating it is to wait so long for so little.

ArchView is an almost miraculous Firefox extension developed by Solar Flare, that lets you access the contents of a RAR, ZIP and ISO archives (7zip should come later) and extract and view individual files without downloading the archive. For example, I was able to view and extract the checksum file and a few images from an Ubuntu 8.04 image without downloading the full 700+ MB file, a real time saver.

Once installed, ArchView displays clicked RAR, ZIP and ISO files (served through http, ftp or file protocols) contents in a familiar file browsing interface. You can then either open or save a file right-clicking on it and selecting Open or Save.

The status bar icon which lets you select an alternate HTML interface (that resembles pre-Firefox 3 FTP browsing), enable/disable ArchView handling and select what archive types to handle, seems pretty obtrusive. An option to disable the status bar icon would be very welcomed.

I would also like to see an option to save a complete directory and much better icons for files, folders and toolbar buttons which it really reads.

ArchView, is a handy add-on you may not need to install right now but may want to bookmark. It is available for download from Mozilla Add-ons.

Fore more details, take a look at this this screencast prepared by the developer.

Via Zona Firefox (ES).

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