I am looking for software that is as easy to use for end-users as extracting ZIP files and that, when "extracted", has a Swiss Army knife suite of methods which an author can use to add/change/delete files (and their contents), in the folder run against.
Scenario: Mods for games tend to be ZIP files that you extract against a given folder, usually the game's folder, and the ZIP's folder structure mirrors the games folder structure so that files get overwritten in the correct location. See JSGME and OVGME for exactly this premise.
Problem: ZIPs only allow for overwriting files. When mods conflict, only one mod can be installed at the same time.
Theory: When two mods want to modify the same file, if the mods were packaged using a tool that could search+replace, instead of overwriting, then the mods could still be compatible, if they didn't modify the same spots. Having a suite of methods would be very helpful such as plain overwriting, patching, search&replace (plain text and regex), etc.
End-users will be running on Windows, mostly, bonus points for other OS'. For end-users, it should be free (think WinZip, 7Zip, etc.). For authors it'd be nice if it was open source and free but personally I'd be willing to pay like $20 for a license or so if it worked well and filled my needs. I know software costs money to develop, my profession is software development, I'm just hoping maybe somebody already had thought of this.