Features of the MAFF file format
Store web content in a single file
The various files required to view a saved page as it appeared on-line are saved together, and cannot be separated by accident.
Store multiple independent pages in the same archive
For example, all the open tabs can be saved in a single file.
Based on the ordinary ZIP / JAR format
The ZIP format is supported natively on many modern operating systems. The contents of MAFF archives can be accessed using any ZIP extraction utility. The support files that are saved along with the main web page can be easily separated and inspected, in their original form, while preserving the advantages of storing the related content in a single archive.
Web pages in MAFF files are compressed, not encoded, with the result of the archive being often much smaller than the original web content.
Suited for video and audio files
Compression can be used selectively for text files but not for already compressed content. This allows most multimedia formats to be opened without uncompressing the entire file first. For example, this enables seeking instantly to the middle of a video, either stored locally or remotely available through a streaming source.
View using the jar: protocol
Even without add-ons, browsers based on Mozilla technology are able to display the contents of MAFF archives natively, using the jar: protocol.
Store metadata about the saved resources
MAFF archives contain metadata like the original location from which the page was saved, as well as the date and time of the save operation. The presence of this additional data is indifferent to ordinary ZIP extractors, but may allow the browser to perform operations like:
- Opening the original page instead of the archived copy while on-line
- Enabling off-line navigation between pages in different archives
- Refreshing the archive contents with the latest on-line version
- Asking web services like the Internet Archive about the page at the time it was saved
Store arbitrary extended metadata
Archives may include the browser's scroll position in the page, text zoom level, and more.
More information about the MAFF file format can be found in the MAFF specification.