[physfs] What are the real benefits of PhysFS ?

Jeremy jswigart at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 12:58:35 EDT 2009

You are asking a question with which you discount the answers as part of the
Not a very fair question. What are the benefits of driving a car, other than
getting someplace in a timely manner, other than not being exposed to the
elements, etc.

Being able to treat all files as if they were raw files with no regard to
whether or not they are in an archive is a significant simplification of the
file IO process. The by product of that simplifying the update process by
the mount order of archives is a nice added benefit. In general loading data
from large pack files has performance benefits as well, such as
significantly reduced load times. Physfs gives you that benefit in a way
that essentially allows you to operate on the files as if they were just raw
files in a folder, whether they are or not. It's common during development
of a project to have all the files loose in the folders, since they change
so often. Come release time, you throw them in a zip and load times are
improved, and it's much easier to release and update, while saving a bit of
on disk space, at no additional work on the projects file system.

On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM, Daniel Aquino
<mr.danielaquino at gmail.com>wrote:

> As I sit here I'm wondering what the benefits really are for putting
> in the work needed to get physfs into a game...
> I obviously know that I could provide updates as zip's that could
> easily be rolled back.
> The user can also easily override any file by adding his own to the
> write folder.
> You could specify paths to other zips/directories on the cli and it
> all just flows there is no need to point at 1 physical directory and
> then glue it all all together your self...
> But beyond that what is the benefits ?
> I was trying to reduce the complexity of rolling out version with
> multiple files... Previously I use to just push a new exe and it was
> simple to click on the exe you wanted to launch... Now that I have lua
> and other dll's in the project it's a multi file update that
> overwrites previous entries which looses the ability to pick the
> version you want to play in...   So I was figuring I could come up
> with a small boot strapper that would load up a bunch of locations
> using physfs, present a list of exe's to the end user, then extract it
> and launch it... Then the concept would be that the exe knows (perhaps
> based on date strings in the file names) which updates came previous
> to it self and doesn't load up any new ones...  This way updates could
> come in a zip and you can still play multiple versions...
> Any ideas?
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