> I'm using SetupBuilder to replace a simplistic self-extracting RAR
> approach. SB definitely brings many benefits to the table, but I
> happened to notice that the size of the distributable is 250MB,
> compared with only 150MB when using RAR.
> I've already set Compression to "Maximum" Generator Settings. Is
> there anything else I can do?

Interesting question, I haven't seen it for a while. In short, compression
ratio (compression power) isn't the only valid factor. The compression
method used in SetupBuilder is still the perfect combination of compression
ratio, compression speed and reconstruction speed across a wide range of
different file types.

RAR makes use of the "solid compression" method for data compression of
multiple files. All the uncompressed files are concatenated and treated as
a single data block. Let us assume, you have 5000 files in your archive and
you only need the last file (and skip file 1 - 4999). Then you have to
unpack all the 5000 files in RAR to get your hand on the last file.
Compression ratio is very good in this case, but speed and performance wise
it is an absolute nightmare. In SetupBuilder, you can skip the 4999 files
within seconds and just decompress (install "on-the-fly") the last file.
This is impossible to do with RAR.

When you execute a SetupBuilder generated setup.exe, it starts immediately.
Most installation systems (including .MSI) have to unpack the compressed
archives before the real installation process can start. In SetupBuilder,
there is no "Please wait..." dialog because the setup.exe is a native
Windows executable with no "solid archive" attached.

There cannot be a perfect compression algorithm. It's proven that any
algorithm that can reduce the size of a certain set of data must also
increase the size of another set of data. Some algorithms are more
interested in getting smaller compression ratios while gaining on
decompression speed, while others will pick algorithms for maximizing
compression ratios even if compression and decompression take a long time.
For example, 7-Zip gets far better compression rates than standard Zip, even
better than RAR. But performance wise it's not the preferred algorithm
(especially for installation systems).

Hope this makes sense.

Friedrich Linder
Lindersoft | SetupBuilder | www.lindersoft.com
954.252.3910 (within US) | +1.954.252.3910 (outside US)

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