In moving to version 6.0, the venerable StuffIt Deluxe compression and archiving package has received a significant update from Aladdin Systems. Most notable among StuffIt Deluxe's new features is ReturnReceipt, which enables the sender of a compressed email attachment to request notification of the attachment's expansion. ReturnReceipt works by creating an outgoing email message acknowledging expansion when the recipient expands the attachment within StuffIt Deluxe 6.0 and StuffIt Expander 6.0. Recipients always have the choice of acknowledgment, and previous versions of the StuffIt products just see a text file. We haven't had a chance to test this feature yet, but it sounds promising for certain situations. Also new is the capability to search for items within StuffIt archives, support for additional file formats for compression and expansion, optional automatic update notification, cooperation with external anti-virus programs for automatic scanning after expansion, and an option to recover damaged archives. It's also worth noting that StuffIt Deluxe 6.0 uses the same file format as StuffIt 5.x.
The application portions of StuffIt Deluxe work with Mac OS X Public Beta; unfortunately that's not true of the popular extensions that rely on the classic Mac OS Finder, including Magic Menu, True Finder Integration, Aladdin StuffIt Browser, Archive Via Rename, and the StuffItCM contextual menu support. StuffIt Deluxe requires a PowerPC-based machine with Mac OS 8.1 or higher and 6 MB of available RAM. StuffIt Deluxe 6.0 costs $80; upgrades are $30 for owners of previous versions of the StuffIt line, and they're free if you purchased StuffIt Deluxe 5.5 after 01-Oct-00.
Simultaneously, Aladdin released StuffIt Expander 6.0, the latest version of the company's near-ubiquitous freeware expansion utility. Changes include support for more file formats (none of which now relay on the StuffIt Engine provided by DropStuff with Expander Enhancer), including .rar files, optional automatic notification of future updates, and cooperation with external anti-virus programs for automatic scanning after expansion. Aladdin says that StuffIt Expander 6.0 is compatible with Mac OS X Public Beta. Since StuffIt Deluxe 6.0 and DropStuff 6.0 continue to use the StuffIt 5 file format, you don't need StuffIt Expander 6.0 to expand newly created StuffIt archives - the 5.x versions of StuffIt Expander will continue to work for that purpose, although they'll see only text files representing ReturnReceipt requests. StuffIt Expander 6.0 requires a PowerPC-based machine running Mac OS 8.1 or later (people with earlier systems should stick with StuffIt Expander 5.5); it's a 2 MB download.
Along with everything else, Aladdin also released DropStuff 6.0 and DropZip 6.0, upgrades to Aladdin's $30 stand-alone drag & drop utilities for creating StuffIt and Zip archives. Changes include tweaks for Mac OS X Public Beta compatibility and optional automatic notification of future updates. Neither can create archives that incorporate ReturnReceipt requests - for that you need StuffIt Deluxe. Upgrades from the previous version of DropStuff cost $15 (DropZip upgrades are free for registered users), and demos of both are available as 3.6 MB downloads.