Challengewrite a self extracting program

time to read 2 min | 213 words

I had to do this yesterday, and it was fun enough to post about it. Not only that, but the solution that I came up with is enough of a twist that I think would make this hard for many people.

Here is the challenge:

Given a zip file, produce an executable that when run on another machine, will unzip the content of the zip file on that machine. (nitpicker corner: yes, there are many ways to cheat this, but don’t try to cheat). You may use any library and process that you want, but the end result must be a standalone file that can be copied to an separate machine and when execute will extract the content of the zip file.

You can assume that on that separate machine you will have the .Net framework installed, but you cannot depend on the presence of external libraries. I’ll note that the default compression streams in the .Net framework are not applicable here, since they can’t handle zip files (which contains a directory structure), they can only handle zip streams.

I took me roughly 30 minutes, most of which were spent dealing with ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib API, which is not something that I dealt with before.

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