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Old 20 January 2012, 08:47   #1
jakov
 
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Exclamation IFF format, how does it work?

How does the EA-85 IFF format work, really?

I want to create a new file format, but get some structure, so I wanted to use the EA-85 IFF format. But I don't understand from the standards document exactly how it works. Especially the difference between FORM CAT and LIST is very unclear. (To me.) So I wanted to used iffw.c from EA to help me write correctly and not miss anything. But it does not work...

I posted on StackOverflow, but no answer so far. Then I thought here is where all the experts are...

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8...to-write-chunk

References:
http://netghost.narod.ru/gff/vendspec/iff/iff.txt
http://www.fileformat.info/format/iff/egff.htm
And links in the StackOverflow question.
 
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Old 20 January 2012, 10:55   #2
thomas
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LIST and CAT are only needed if you want to combine multiple documents in one file. Usually, for example for a picture file, you only need FORM.
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Old 20 January 2012, 13:04   #3
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I love the definition of this format. It's the way media files of today are dealt with. A container like Quicktime surely owes a lot of inspiration to IFF!
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Old 20 January 2012, 13:15   #4
Photon
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Knowing only the IFF format as described in the thick blue Amiga books (online docs here), I'm not sure I can help you. I guess you've googled already. If you describe why the new format and what the files will be for, maybe more people can help you here.
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Old 20 January 2012, 16:25   #5
jakov
 
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Thanks!

It's for a flash file for the Natami. The first version will contain only one flash file for a FPGA, but later versions will contain three flash files. So maybe the first version will be a FORM, and later versions a LIST or CAT with three FORMs in them?
 
Old 20 January 2012, 17:45   #6
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You shouldn't make it more complicated than it needs to be. A normal FORM file can have multiple chunks of the same type. For example if you check the WBPattern prefs file, you will see that it looks like this:

FORM....PREF
PRHD
PTRN
PTRN
PTRN

Each of the three PTRN chunks stands for one of the three patterns (screen, workbench, window).
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Old 21 January 2012, 01:15   #7
jakov
 
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Thanks

Thanks, I will try this.
 
Old 22 January 2012, 21:40   #8
Photon
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Yeah, a FORM and a chunk for each 'entry' is good. But if it's 3 separate files of the same type it could be better to make them 3 files and just zip them if you need to distribute as a single file.

Any which way is good really, if it's to be supported in future by the community it would be nice with a few lines in a doc that makes it to the web.
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Old 01 February 2012, 11:18   #9
jakov
 
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Thank you! The official ROM file format for Natami (.nff) is now based on IFF-85 thanks to answers here. The legacy lives. :-)
 
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