You are here Status Update: 62 New Apps, Site and SourceForge Issues, Platform Delay, Moving Forward

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on February 1, 2011 - 12:18pm

Welcome to another status update from As a lot has been happening over the past month and a half, we thought it would be a good idea to do an "all-hands" status update so everyone know what's been going on behind the scenes. There's been some good (62 shiny new apps, LibreOffice from The Document Foundation), some not so good (site performance issues) and some bad (a SourceForge outage and a platform release schedule delay). The good news is that the daily app releases continue, the site performance issues are fixed, the platform work is continuing and the SourceForge fixes are progressing well. We'll be announcing any major developments as well as the platform release on our RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, homepage and in our newsletter, so keep an eye on one to find out right away. For the complete details, please read on...

New Apps - 62 and Counting!

Since December 1st, we've released a new portable app every day. Originally, it was going to be a month-long holiday present for the end of the year, but it's been so well-received by users and brought so many new publishers on board that we've got a ton of releases in the queue just waiting for everyone to enjoy, so we're going to keep up the pace. Here's a quick recap of the last 2 months of new apps:




Graphics & Pictures


Music & Video




We couldn't have done all of that without the new developers and publishers we've brought on board to help with app releases. You'll find the full list of developers on our team page. Please join me in thanking them for the work they are doing. And remember to thank the publisher of your favorite app when they give permission to for their software to be packaged portably.

LibreOffice Portable Published With The Document Foundation

January also saw the official release of the new LibreOffice office suite. The same week, we released LibreOffice Portable 3.3 in partnership with The Document Foundation as the official portable version of their software. A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make this happen and Marko, Florian and the rest of the folks were all a big help in making this happen. We're looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership with them.

Drupal 7 Upgrade, New App Directory and Site Localization

We've been working behind the scenes on getting the site upgraded to the latest version of our content management system, Drupal. This upgrade will allow us to finish the build-out of our improved app directory and finally launch improved site localization software for our translators. Unfortunately, the upgrade failed during our scheduled maintenance window on January 9th due to some issues within the database. As we've been running and upgrading an older version of Drupal, we aren't confident that Drupal's upgrade process will be able to handle the upgrade properly, so we're planning for a manual upgrade, copying the data (posts, users, articles, comments, etc) out of our existing install and into a fresh Drupal 7 install. We'll keep you updated as things progress. Site Performance Issues Solved

As our regular visitors have noted, has had some performance issues since the end of December. These issues have particularly been affecting logged-in users who have been met with periodic "Server Overloaded" messages. It's affected guest users occasionally as well and on occasion impacted some downloads of freeware and 3rd party hosted software. We've been working hard on the issue behind the scenes with some server cleanup and reconfiguration. We'd hoped that some of the optimizations we planned for Drupal 7 would help as well, but the upgrade did not go as scheduled. We were able to optimize some additional bits and disable some internal functionality like live statistics. As a result, the site is working very well again with pages coming up quickly for both guest and logged-in users. The only thing visitors may miss is the live statistics on the forum page which detailed how many guest visitors were online. While this was a nice stat to show off, it wound up limiting us to around 6,000 simultaneous users and we thought our users would like it better if they could access the site.

Site popularity is continuing to grow and we're now in the top 5,000 websites worldwide. To cope with the traffic growth, we are looking to accelerate some server changes that we'd originally slated for later this year. We're discussing things with our managed, dedicated host to figure out a timeline and pricing that works for us. Outage Issues, which provides us with hosting for our open source platform and apps, was subjected to an attempted hack last week. As a result, new release functionality has been disabled since January 25th. The immediately affected release of Juice Portable is being temporarily hosted on our freeware server and Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 10 is available for users by installing Beta 9 and performing an automatic upgrade. Unfortunately, additional new releases and updates of open source software have been on hold since then. We've got an updated topic on the SourceForge issue in the forums where we will post updates and answer any questions on the issue.

SourceForge provides us with hundreds of terrabytes of download bandwidth that would otherwise cost us tens of thousands of dollars. Even so, we have active backup contingencies in place should this issue continue for too long a time. We'll begin releasing open source software via another avenue should the need arise.

Update (Feb 1 @ 2pm EDT): The release system has come back online but is understandably overloaded. We've started uploading releases and will ensure the files are properly available on multiple download servers before we post and announce them. Platform Release Target Missed

As many users have noticed, we missed our updated target release timeframe for the new Platform 2.0 Beta and stable releases. This was due to a number of issues, both technical and personal, but ultimately, the responsibility falls on me. I, again, set a timeframe and publicly announced it without taking into account several possible issues and, in the end, let you down. And for that, I am truly sorry. Our community of users and developers is really one of the things that makes us great and helps drive this whole project forward and it's unfair to set up high expectations for you only to disappoint you when they don't come to pass. Even though our software is free, many people like you rely on it to live, work and play and we have a responsibility to ensure you are able to continue doing that. I take that responsibility seriously and will not let this situation happen again.

Updated Platform Versioning and Release Timeframe

We're changing the way we do updates to the platform in the leadup to 2.0. Instead of posting a 1.7 stable release with the PA.c Updater and then a 2.0 Beta 6 release with categories/theming and building on it from there, we're merging the two branches into a single release path. The next release will be a stable 1.9 release and it will have the Updater enabled. It will be quite similar to the current 2.0 Beta 5 release. However, it will also have categories, theming and some other beta features included but disabled by default. A quick "Enable Beta Functionality" toggle and the 1.9 stable release behaves as 2.0 Beta 6. We'll do this for another 1 or 2 quick releases and then ship it out as 2.0 stable.

Though unconventional, this will allow us to operate off a single release path and internal build environment (one version of Delphi and associated tools), allow us to retire the aging 1.6 branch as soon as we make our next release, allow us to start meeting some of our hardware partner's needs immediately and quickly progress to the final 2.0 release. It's been a long-running joke that the Beta release was more stable and functional than the Stable release. Now, they'll be one and the same and both moving forward. As the platform will have the capability to update itself, this will also allow us to quickly address any major issues that may arise.

Rather than announcing a new date and having it slip, further proving to everyone that we are operating on Valve Time, I'm going to begin posting weekly progress updates on this blog on the status of the platform and our other initiatives. So, every week, you'll get an update on where things stand and, often, an announcement of a new release to download and use. I'll be doing additional quick mini status updates in the forums as things come together as well and link them in from this announcement and post them in our twitter account.

I think that's it for this update. Thank you all for your continued support, patience and encouragement. We look forward to bringing you lots of new cool things in the weeks ahead!


Darkbee's picture

Thank you to all PortableApps developers, you've made PA.c a one-stop-shop for all apps portable.

A special thanks to John, your commitment to making this project successful is greatly appreciated. It is also a testament to your character that you've taken the community criticism on the chin, and come back with a plan to improve the situation. I don't think anybody can argue with your planned goals and objectives for leading through a very successful 2011.

All the best to all PortableApps development team members.

John, I found this site back when I entered high school, and it has provided me with so many useful tools, and so quickly enabled me to help others, I'd like to say, thank you. This site is amazing, community support is growing (congrats on reaching the top 5000!) and it introduces people to a bunch of program they may never have heard of! There is so much I could say, but mostly, I just want to type out random gibberish in the name of PortableApps.Com, because thats kinda how excited all this stuff gets me!
In the end, thank you for all your effort.

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about Rock'n'Roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto

SakiTC's picture

A very big thank you to John T. Haller, the developers and the whole team for a really wonderful beginning of the year (and the end of the last year). Keep up the good work.
Sometimes it's good to glance back and be proud of what you have achieved so far. Going forward then makes even more sense.

No typin th las lette ca sav yo plent o spac

can't wait to see the new changes after the Drupal 7 Upgrade Smile
like how my valve time comment made it in here XD
also, i like you merging idea! keep up the good work John and the rest of Portable Apps!

is it perfect: no, nothings perfect.
is it readily available and reliable: make it happen.

A stable environment and a bug free app is more important than a release date. From my point of view only [Removed by mod JTH. We don't permit discussion of illegal software. We only do legitimate, legal software with publisher permission, trademark licensing approval, and following open source licenses and freeware EULAs here.]

solanus's picture

And congratulations to you and all of our developers for the large number of apps released in the recent months.
I'm especially glad to see my old friend IrfanView added to the list, and the lightweight graphics editor Fotographix. Also, looking over this list, there are some pleasant surprises that I didn't expect!
I also like the new approach to the Platform.
Great work all around!

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

for the update.
A big thank you goes to all the new and old developers for all their work. The flood of apps has been (and still is) exciting and thrilling! For some time now there has been some complaints and frustration about the fact that soo many releases were left hanging in the forums.
Since December, this situation has improved and lots of apps have been released. For that, another bog thank you goes to John T. Haller for his incredible work on a daily basis to get them all up and out. It would be nice if more and more devs could start testing apps in the forums as this would reduce the workload for John. Be it by joining the release team or just posting detailed reports in the forum threads.

I am looking forward to the new platform release and I think its a good way to get the process flowing again. This has been tried in the past and I hope it will work better this time.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Glad the same thing that's happening with Mozilla isn't happening here Smile

The Firefox 4 betas are continuously missing release dates, while the 3.6 branch is getting old and outdated.

if you follow the bugs its because they are introducing entirely new things into the system and a lot of release blocks came up at once

is it perfect: no, nothings perfect.
is it readily available and reliable: make it happen.

nascent's picture has come such a long way in such a short time. I am staggerd by the amount of work in this recent boost, and am loving seeing many apps i know and love in portable form.

It's my dream to never have to install software ever again, being able to drag and drop entire programs, from one folder to another and one computer to another with no consequence.

This is how computing should be, simple to backup, simple to organise and easy to fix when anything goes wrong (How much easier than deleting an app folder then extracting a new one can you get?).

Keep the software coming, I'd love to see Miro, PS3Video9, and VirtualDubMod (VirtalDub's great but aac is very common).

John T. Haller's picture

The VirtualDub Portable Plugins pack is available right from the VirtualDub Portable homepage (just below the download button). It adds FLIC, FLV, Matroska, MPEG-2, AC-3 and WMV codecs... which is what VirtualDubMod used to do before it was abandoned.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Pyromaniac's picture

...we thought out users would like it better if they could access the site.

shouldn't that be our users?

John T. Haller's picture

Quite right, good sir. Fixed.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Thanks for all of the work that the team puts into a great service. This update is great and I look forward to the release of 1.9 and future releases.

John, don't beat yourself for what happened !!
Just wanted to say how I love what you are doing with P.A. It has become such an important daily tool for me, which I can't see myself without my flash drive and the P.A's.

Any delay is only for the best.

Stevoisiak's picture

Hey, at least you've been releasing tons of new apps, as opposed to being stagnant. Because of the new app releases, I remain fully confident that PortableApps is going on strong, and will continue to be my one stop place for flashdrive apps.

Also, Valve time. :3

Simplifying daily life through technology

Thank you for all your work.
I just use a few apps (Firefox, Thunderbird, ...) but appreciate the work all of you are doing, for instance with PA format, ... You convince me that portable apps is the future.
Thanks again and good luck

And remember to thank the publisher of your favorite app when they give permission to for their software to be packaged portably.

"to for" should probably be either "to package their software portably" or "for their software to be packaged portably", not the current mixture of both.


Keep the releases coming. I wouldn't mind seeing some of them being Platform releases once in a while. Blum

Over two months of App-Ness have kept me happy enough that the updater works and I can grab every application as it comes.

My Dev Tests: ~ KeePass Pro Portable (awaiting .NET directory) ~ FreeCol Portable (needs testers)

"... proving to everyone that we are operating on Valve Time..." - us Blum

an app catalog inside portable apps platform, with a picture of the logo and the name, maybe a link to the web page hyper-linked in the name, and a button that downloads and installs it? perhaps it tells you if you already have it installed or if it has an update avalible and could links you to the changes for that update?

so a list with entries like
[pic] [Portable app] [instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [Un-instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [instal]
[pic] [Portable app] [update]
[pic] [Portable app] [unsupported/obsolete]

is it perfect: no, nothings perfect.
is it readily available and reliable: make it happen.

John T. Haller's picture

Something like that is coming. The pre-release is already in testing by our development team in the field.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Is it going to be like a repository on the Platform (like, say, aptitude for apt-based package managers)?

If so, I can't wait... the one thing I've always wanted was a repository so that I can figure out which apps I have and which ones I don't.

My Dev Tests: ~ KeePass Pro Portable (awaiting .NET directory) ~ FreeCol Portable (needs testers)

"... proving to everyone that we are operating on Valve Time..." - us Blum

Simeon's picture

something like this is coming.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

solanus's picture

The updater built into the current platform, by default, allows you to download the latest version of apps you already have installed. You can get a complete list of apps by running from a command line that says
PortableAppsUpdater.exe /MODE=ADD
The next version of the platform should include the ability to select any app from the Sourceforge repository.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

I tested it, and it works! (Well, mostly.)

I quite like it. Obviously, the UI might need a better update, but it's all right for just downloading the new apps as they come along.

A few problems (with apps and the updater database, not with the updater) occurred, however. The test build of Opera Portable isn't downloading at all (404), and the nightly Minefield build isn't downloading the build at all during installation (again, 404).

My Dev Tests: ~ KeePass Pro Portable (awaiting .NET directory) ~ FreeCol Portable (needs testers)

"... proving to everyone that we are operating on Valve Time..." - us Blum

John T. Haller's picture

This mode of the updater is not yet supported and was not supposed to be made public (bad developers, no cookie). It was designed for development team testing of an upcoming feature only. It's 'use at your own risk' at the moment as it has known issues.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Let me know if you need testing, as that feature specifically is more useful to me than the Updater itself. Biggrin

My Dev Tests: ~ KeePass Pro Portable (awaiting .NET directory) ~ FreeCol Portable (needs testers)

"... proving to everyone that we are operating on Valve Time..." - us Blum

Parabéns a todos vocês pelo excelente trabalho.
Com este pacote de programas portáteis, vocês facilitaram muito a vida de todos.
Utilizando todos os programas num pendrive, podemos agilizar e otimizar o nosso trabalho, tornando-o mais seguro, caso queiramos utilizar um outro computador, sem deixar rastros pessoais.
Muito obrigado e, parabéns mais uma vez!

Luciano Andrade