I really appreciate to have documentation available from Microsoft so that I can give somewhat correct names to the binary structures.
But progress moves slowly as the available pages only provide twitter-style sentences to explain how each block tie together and even these are sometimes misleading. Nevertheless, I can't complain much as progress is slow but not frozen.
Right now I've reached to a point where an implementation of the Microsoft LZX-2 algorithm is required to compress data. Looking at alternative implementations made by others such as the WINE team, I found this funny comment:
/* LZX decruncher *//* Microsoft's LZX document and their implementation of the* com.ms.util.cab Java package do not concur.** In the LZX document, there is a table showing the correlation between* window size and the number of position slots. It states that the 1MB* window = 40 slots and the 2MB window = 42 slots. In the implementation,* 1MB = 42 slots, 2MB = 50 slots. The actual calculation is 'find the* first slot whose position base is equal to or more than the required* window size'. This would explain why other tables in the document refer* to 50 slots rather than 42.** The constant NUM_PRIMARY_LENGTHS used in the decompression pseudocode* is not defined in the specification.** The LZX document does not state the uncompressed block has an* uncompressed length field. Where does this length field come from, so* we can know how large the block is? The implementation has it as the 24* bits following after the 3 blocktype bits, before the alignment* padding.** The LZX document states that aligned offset blocks have their aligned* offset huffman tree AFTER the main and length trees. The implementation* suggests that the aligned offset tree is BEFORE the main and length* trees.** The LZX document decoding algorithm states that, in an aligned offset* block, if an extra_bits value is 1, 2 or 3, then that number of bits* should be read and the result added to the match offset. This is* correct for 1 and 2, but not 3, where just a huffman symbol (using the* aligned tree) should be read.** Regarding the E8 preprocessing, the LZX document states 'No translation* may be performed on the last 6 bytes of the input block'. This is* correct. However, the pseudocode provided checks for the *E8 leader** up to the last 6 bytes. If the leader appears between -10 and -7 bytes* from the end, this would cause the next four bytes to be modified, at* least one of which would be in the last 6 bytes, which is not allowed* according to the spec.** The specification states that the huffman trees must always contain at* least one element. However, many CAB files contain blocks where the* length tree is completely empty (because there are no matches), and* this is expected to succeed.*/
Funny because a decade has passed and still we see specifications for other formats to contain lapses, mistakes and misplacements on official docs from the MS corporation. Even the patent claim they made for the WIM specification contains inaccuracies.
Would be nice to see things change.