You are here Status Update (2011-04-01): Firefox 4, LibreOffice 3.3.2, 21 new apps in 21 days and Platform 2.0 Status

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on April 1, 2011 - 1:20pm

It's time for another ' Status Update' on what's new in the last week. We've got the big Firefox 4.0 update, LibreOffice 3.3.2 with performance improvements and new languages, an update on the coming 2.0 platform release and some final translations we'll be asking for next week, and more. Read on for the details

Another 21 New Apps in 21 Days

In the last 21 days we've released another 21 new portable apps, making for 121 new apps in 121 days. We've had lots of different games, a barcode generator, window management enhancement, file explorer utilities, a touch typing tutor and more. Keep watching the New Apps Tracker for each new app.

Today's and tomorrow's new apps may be delayed until Sunday or so due to travel and the associated internet connectivity issues that go along with it. But we'll get them out then and then continue doing a new one every day.

Firefox 4 Release

The Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 4.0 Release went off without a hitch. It's one of the most ambitious updates to Firefox to date. We've been working with Mozilla on Firefox portably since 0.8+ (7 years ago, the first 'portable app') and this has been a very good update by any measure. We've been tracking the numbers and Firefox Portable accounts for around 1% of Firefox downloads even with the huge increase in Firefox's popularity over the years.

LibreOffice Portable 3.3.2

After a big update to the launcher, LibreOffice Portable 3.3.2 was released by and The Document Foundation. It's now more portable, even faster, supports all languages that LibreOffice supports and installs in even less space than before thanks to our new installer option to remove extra language. If you haven't given LibreOffice a try yet, now is the time!

Lots of App Updates

If you've been following along the homepage, RSS feed or Twitter feed, you've seen that this month resulted in a ton of app updates, taking more time than usual to keep them flowing. Happily, we kept up with the load and all the apps were updated soon after their local counterparts. And, as always, Platform 2.0 Beta users automatically got those updates downloaded and installed.

Drupal Upgrade Progress

Nothing new to report on this front other than we've been looking around at some Drupal consultants to help assist with the manual upgrade. I'm including the older update for continuity...

Some more progress has been made on the Drupal upgrade scripts. We may wind up hiring a Drupal expert to assist with the process, though, due to the complexity. We should know more at some point this week. As a reminder, Drupal is the content management system on which the site runs and it is in need of an upgrade to the latest major version release. However, the upgrade process is crashing without any useful errors or any indication of the issue. So, we'll be performing a manual upgrade from version 6 to 7. This will allow us better localization and allow us to implement our site redesign and new app directory.

Financial Update

We're ramping up for a fund-raising drive in association with the 2.0 release. We like the idea of a store where you can buy t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, etc and have made some progress on that front with our designed. We're also looking into doing a branded drive just as a fundraiser. We don't want to do it long-term as we're not looking to compete with our upcoming hardware partnerships.

As mentioned before, bandwidth costs continue to grow and the need for additional hardware presents itself, the additional funds are definitely going to help. In terms of monthly unique visitors, we're closing in on the likes of BoingBoing, SlashDot and similar sites and the hosting costs are reflecting that. Currently, we're covering the additional overhead from personal funding sources.

We still plan to kick this off soon and will be providing more details at the time. We may do something similar to wikipedia's call for donations, though likely without my face looking sad on every page of the site. :) We're always looking for ideas and suggestions as well, so feel free to drop us a note to our developer contact address or post a note in the forums.

2.0 Platform Progress

After deciding on a later 1.9.0 release to ensure categories are finished in a close to final form and after discussing our versioning plan with some users and hardware partners, we've decided to call the planned 1.9.0 release 2.0 and ensure that all translations are complete for it. This will eliminate the confusion of having to explain to people that 1.9 is actually an update to 2.0 Beta 5 and having dual versioning included in the release itself. This won't alter the schedule of the 1.9.0 release other than to add next week as a translation week to ensure that the new menu and options screens are updated for at least most of our supported languages, since we will be considering this a stable release. We'll be posting the updated strings for translation on early to mid-week which will give our volunteer translators about a week's time to ensure that they're up to date and finalize any verbiage in our discussion forums.

This means that 2.0 will consist of the current 2.0 Beta 6 features, an update to the updater, categories, new app adding via the updater, fit and finish updates to the included themes, and fixes of all major bugs up to this point. This also means that we'll be pushing the 2.0 update out to our hardware and software partners wider than the original 1.9.0 plan. The feature set for 2.0 is complete and fans of folders will be happy to learn that categories are working as expected in our internal build now that the 2 last big blocking bugs have been fixed. There are still some minor fixes to complete in addition to ensuring translations and platform updating are working as expected, but nothing major or too time consuming.

In the vein of the Chrome and new Firefox release schedules, we'll be pushing out minor and major version updates on an updated schedule. Minor version updates will occur every week or two and major version updates will occur about every 2 months. So, once 2.0 is out, we'll see 2.1 and 2.2 adding in file associations, application shutdown and improved theming support in the coming weeks after that point. Now that the platform will have auto-updating included and automatic updating is nearly complete in the platform installer, updates won't be a big deal to users other than a couple MB download and a minute to install and restart the platform (at the user's leisure, of course, it won't be forced for a given session).

So, if you're a translator, please keep an eye on things on Monday or Tuesday to help finalize the strings for all our languages. And if you're a user, keep an eye out for the new platform release a week afterward. As things are basically already complete, we anticipate no interruptions to this planned schedule, but if anything does come up. I'll post about it immediately on the site. We'll be announcing both the translations and the release via our homepage, rss, twitter feed and facebook fan page. We'll also be doing a newsletter release in conjunction with the release, probably the same day or the day after depending on timing.

That's it for this update. Keep an eye on this blog for the next update and have a great weekend everybody!

Exciting things are afoot...


LOGAN-Portable's picture

Nice to see an Status Update, although posting it on April 1st one always has to be skeptic Wink

Please note that the LibreOffice Portable link has some trailing HTML which generates an rare 414 (Request-URI Too Large) error.

So maybe the Status Update is longer than this?


An Update on April Fool's day huh? Anyways what's been done is the link tag has the rest of the post in it. Chrome users can just right-click and inspect element to read it up. I'm skeptical of everything I read today but if the botched tag itself is simply the joke for today (or you did it by accident...) looking forward for what's to come.

Keep up the good work!

I don't think he did cut of this by intention. Would've been a pretty bad joke concerning the delays that already happened (I've personally no problem with these, but others have been pretty annoyed)

Otherwise, interesting update! Smile

"Der Klügere gibt nach, deshalb regieren Dumme die Welt."

Yay - LibreOffice
Yay - lots of apps
Meh - Drupal
Yay - PortableApps schwag
Boo - bandwidth costs
Platform - numbering is changing again
Platform - is coming soonish
Platform - will get faster updates in the future... future... future...
Help - translators?

EDIT: OK, John fixed it - but I think I got the gist of it, right?

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

Pyromaniac's picture

this has been my most favoritest status update since status updates started. (Try fitting that in Twitter :P).

I'm excited to see what partnerships were made with whom... And these branded flash drives are gonna be awesome to have.

But by far, the best update was Firefox Portable 4.0.

It really has been amazing to see all of the updates over the last month.

Looking forward to the Platform updates, though I love Beta 5 so much, I just hope it stays as stable as it is now. Smile Also glad to see that everyone is just going to 2.0, rather than splitting between 2.0beta and 1.9.0. That sounded really confusing.

Thanks again for all the work!

Recovering programmer

Thank you for keeping this site going.
I got my Firefox 4 here before getting the install version.

I am looking forward to the updates, and Platform 2.0

I hope you are getting the USB drive fundraiser going.
I'd like a custom drive with or without the apps preloaded.
Some custom logo or shape would be great to make your drive stand out from the rest!

I meant to ask before, but didn't want to seem ungrateful so early. But now the "app a day" has been going for four months now (it started in December, right?). And now I am seeing some duplicates (not the same app, but new apps that do what others have done) and I'm not seeing three specific apps that have been in and out of "testing" and "review" or whatever, but apps that I use every day or near about.

So... where are CCleaner, ImgBurn, and Mp3Tag? I've seen a couple CCleaner knockoffs roll through, but when it comes to cleaning the registry and temp files, you put a lot of trust into an app like that, and a hundred knockoffs with lofty claims is usually a road to trouble (not that PortableApps would push a shady app, but still, it's bad form in general). There's nothing really like Mp3Tag, and ImgBurn is best in class for free optical disc recording (though, its music CD creation could be a bit easier and more user-friendly).

Still, I appreciate that so many apps are getting out, and it's exposed me to a couple apps I wouldn't have taken otherwise. I'd just like to see more of my favorites go official.

John T. Haller's picture

It's a simple issue of permission. Piriform hasn't granted anyone permission to repackage and redistribute CCleaner yet, though there are some illegal ones. ImgBurn doesn't have permission either. True, we have online installers for both, but we're asking the publishers for bundling permission instead before making them official.

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

Okay, that makes sense. I'd just like to be able to update these apps via the updater, since it works so well. Also, I don't think the online installers for CCleaner or ImgBurn that are available have been updated in some time. I'm just running CCleaner out of the directory and installed the latest ImgBurn for now.

Hopefully Piriform comes around, but I know they're pretty obtuse with regards to redistribution (though, they allow some sites, so all hope is not lost). But what about ImgBurn's developer (something like "Lightning UK!"?)?

The dev test of Nathan9222 downloads, installs and compresses the latest version of CCleaner and checks for updates every start (it confuses two digits, though, asking to update every time although it's the most up to date version). Apart from that it works very well. If that becomes official, it may be changed to PAL, but for a dev test online paf it is amazing.

That might be the issue I had with it. Can the confused digits be easily reversed to fix its updating, e.g. through the .ini?

But in any case my PortableApps usage is fairly uncommon. Portability from one machine to another isn't as important as portability from one Windows install to the next. I just have a bunch of portable apps on my D drive (most of them from here, but some, like CCleaner, being "just portable"), and shortcuts to them backed up in a folder, they were on my desktop, now they're on my rocketdock (new quad-core computer, 23" wide 1080p monitor... yeah). So I just run the updater maybe once or twice a week and that's pretty much that.

John T. Haller's picture

I've returned from traveling and the new apps will resume tomorrow AM (NY time). The 3 missed days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) will be made up for over the coming few days, so we'll be back on track with X apps in X days Smile

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

For those who really believe in April Fools, John posted at 1:20pm, and april fools can only be carried out before 12:00.

Nice to see the platform is coming on and some of the new features planned look really exciting.

Keep up the great work.

You should addendum this though as I know that you have also had to deal with a plethora of app updates...I imagine all told you must be well over 200 total?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss

John T. Haller's picture

Well, there are 304 announcements since then, but things like Google Chrome Dev don't get announced and when there are stable/beta releases of something like Google Chrome it's a single announcement. But then that does include status updates. So, probably a bit over 300.

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