You are here Status Update (2011-04-10): Platform 2.0 Release Date, Site Upgrade Progress, New Release Status

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on April 10, 2011 - 11:47pm

It's time for another ' Status Update' on what's new in the last week. We've got the finalized 2.0 release schedule, new platform translation strings tomorrow, progress update on the site upgrade, 126 new apps in 126 days, the status of additional new app releases, getting caught up on app updates and more. Read on for the details

126 New Apps in 126 Days, Temporary Hiatus Til 2.0

We've released 126 new apps in the last 126 days up until April 5th, which is pretty amazing. All kinds of apps and games, many of which were never available for portable use before and that you'll find nowhere else. As we countdown to the 2.0 final release, though, we need to focus all our energies on the platform, so new app releases are taking a temporary hiatus for about 2 weeks. After the 2.0 release, we'll be re-opening the floodgates and have several days of more than one app per day to catch back up!

Lots of App Updates

If you've been following along, the last couple months have involved a ton of updates. But we're all caught up and all the apps in the system are up to date. And if you're a 2.0 Platform Beta user, you can just click Check for Updates and ensure all your apps are at the latest version.

Drupal Upgrade Progress

We've made some progress on the Drupal front and have some of the scripts ready for manually converting data from Drupal 6, which the site is currently running, to Drupal 7. We have both up and running in the same database to make the transition easier (and faster once we run it). The new Drupal 7 theme for is nearly complete and is looking really good. Time-permitting, we're planning on working on the upgrade this coming weekend (April 16th and 17th). We'll need to take some services offline while this is in progress, but we'll have notices available and try to minimize downtime. We may be able to have the site simply be read-only for part of the time (no new posts or comments) to mitigate any lengthy downtime issues. We'll keep you updated!

Financial Update

Nothing new to report on this front, so I'm including last week's upgrade for continuity...

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 Release Schedule, String Translations

As we mentioned last week, we're nixing the idea of doing a 1.9.0 and followup releases and going with a straight 2.0 release. This release will consist of the current features of the 2.0 Beta 5 release plus a finalized app updater, the ability to automatically download and install apps via the updater interface, categories/folders which work automatically with the app categorizations as well as manual classifications, polished versions of the 2.0 Beta 5 themes, numerous bug fixes and stability improvements and an improved installer.

As the new interface will involve several changes, we'll be posting a new set of strings for translation during the week. We'll be posting them as a zip file including the English final version along with the current versions of all supported languages. Over the week, we'll be accepting updates from our translation team and other members of the community in a special forum topic. We'll be announcing this on the front page.

Later this week, we'll be releasing 2.0 to the community as a '2.0 Release Candidate' and promoting it to much of our existing community and encouraging everyone to upgrade and fully test it out. We'll be including what we hope is the final version of 2.0 along with all the updater translations from the community to that point to ensure that they are all working as expected in the actual interface, as well as giving users the ability to adjust them as needed and submit changes for each locale.

As long as no major showstopper bugs appear, on Tuesday, April 19th, we will be releasing 2.0 Final and promoting it to the entire community as well as the rest of the world via press releases, partners, social media, our newsletter and lots of other little ways. Hopefully, this will also involve a new homepage and site theme (see Drupal upgrade above) but we have some contingency plans if the upgrade is unsuccessful.

Once 2.0 has gone gold and is pushed out to the community, we'll be continuing to work on 2.1 which adds in several of the other features we'd originally planned for 2.0. This release is currently scheduled for May 10th and will be automatically pushed out to all current platform users, as will subsequent releases. As mentioned in the last update, we're adopting an accelerated upgrade schedule akin to Firefox post-4.0 and Chrome. As our users will automatically receive upgrades from here on out, we won't need as prolonged a test period or to do as monumental (and time-consuming) updates as we have been. By keeping to a tigther, more specific schedule, we'll be able to push out bug fixes, new features and speed improvements about twice a month.

That's it for this update. Keep an eye on this blog for the next update, keep an eye on the site for the 2.0 Release Candidate and 2.0 Final releases and have a great week everybody!

Exciting things are afoot...


Thanks for the update John and the continued hard work that you and your crew are doing in the background to help improve all of the users enjoyment of this great package!

“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

Thanks John!

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

In Platform V.2.0 B 5

Two bugs I've found :
1.Missing folder icons.
2.Need to "Run as administrator" on Win 7 or else it can't write settings into my External HDD

New features I want :
1.Updater should include "Portable Java" and the platform too.
2.Add Truecrypt (As

Regarding your issue #2, it's probably your NTFS security privileges that are giving this problem. Grant full access to the 'Everyone' user and that should do the trick

Yes, My drive is NTFS and I'm new to permission settings on Win7.
The main problem isn't saving the settings I've made change but if the platform can't write settings it can't close, so I need to use "Kill Process" in Task Manager.

I originally wrote this to be a direct reply to your first post on this thread, but I couldn't find the post I wanted to link to, and it was late, so I went to bed and I'm posting it now.

Based on what I've read on the forums, I believe Bug #1 will be fixed as of the new 2.0 release which, according to the information above, will come out soon, and Bug #2 is your setup, not a Platform error.
Re: Bug #2
NTFS isn't made to travel between computers, so you'll either have to reformat your External HDD to Fat32, or follow These Instructions to allow write access to your External HDD without Admin Rights.

John T HallerTo fix it, right-click on the drive letter in Explorer, Select Properties, Select the Security tab and then edit it to give Everyone full control.

That should fix your Bugs.
However I think it might be a good idea for the Platform to check if it has Write privileges or not (perhaps warn if it doesn't?) and not try to save it's settings if it doesn't have Write access.  How difficult would this be to implement? could it maybe be squeezed into the 2.0 release? (if not maybe it could be put in later. :))


John T. Haller's picture

The best way to use TrueCrypt is to create a container in portable mode and then install everything into that (including the PA.c Platform). Integrating won't add anything unless of course we had multiple Documents and PortableApps folders (one in the container, one outside of it) but then are we going to have the ask the end user every time they install where they want to install something? Have two of every folder on the right side of the menu?

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

LOGAN-Portable's picture

I did some weird launcher that checks if admin rights are available, then you can enter password and it then opens a container with the encrypted portable app.
If admin rights are not available it starts the same app but then from an unencrypted source without any settings etc. When you close the encrypted version it automatically dismounts the mounted drive.

This has several advantages:
1 you have an encrypted version for 'trusted' PC's and one for other PC's.
2 Using small containers (one per app) means (I think) that any changes to the contents will not need to change the whole container possibly reducing speed and write cycles.

Not ideal but I think it's a better solution than just installing the whole platform into one encrypted container.


That sounds like a maintainance hell. How does that work with the updater? How do you keep track what version you used last, the encrypted or the unencrypted one? How do you synchronize settings?
In my experience, most apps don't need do be encrypted but just the content you create. There are some exceptions like email-client or ftp-program that keep sensible data.
There is simply no performance issue with large containers as encryption is transparent.
I for one have no problem to use two sets, one unencrypted with all apps I use daily and one inside the container with just thunderbird and filezilla. You could add a browser, too. So I just use sensible data at places where I have admin rights or maybe where truecrypt already is installed (and I trust the place...).
Otherwise I can work with my "toolbox" and only risk loosing an installation but don't provide a target (my data).

Apart from that your setup sounds very interesting. Could you provide some info (maybe a new thread)?

LOGAN-Portable's picture

I guess it can be a maintanance hell, I just update these manually and there are only a few that are encrypted.

A modified launcher checks Admin rights, looks up next available free driveletter, if available starts truecrypt to mount the container and then starts the encrypted app using the found and mounted driveletter. The launcher waits till the app is closed and then unmounts. (Hmm almost said this before Smile

The main reason for encryption is if you have FTP, Browser, email and others app's 'on the go' you might need to 'protect' your data in case you ever lose the USB stick.

Maybe in a future version John and co could think of a way of integral support for truecrypt for portableapps, by for example all apps using (after mounting) one mounted container for user data as addition to the 'local' user data.

Ofcourse only for some apps, as I guess the settings of say an media encoder dont need to be protected.

Having a second portableapps platform in an container seems a bit overkill.

An admin would have to install the driver. Its one of the hazards.

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
Too many bridges you can burn
Too many tables you can't turn
Don't wanna live my life in the real world

LOGAN-Portable's picture

Or the user has to have Admin rights to run Truecrypted apps. I agree having the driver installed is the better/saver option though. But either way, the need for some kind of protection is a valid argument, because of the real life possibility as someone other could in theory gain access to your portable apps that keep sensitive data for example when you lost the device or it got stolen.

Some apps keep passwords in the clear (Firefox, Filezilla and probably more).

Yes, one could use some kind of password vault etc. but looking at several options, preferably one that could work transparent with the platform is at least to say an interesting problem. A problem that is worth looking into with a 'can-do' attitude.

But maybe the Platform & encryption is something for a separate forum post.

I really want TrueCrypt in this release. I asked John if it was possible to make a platform with it, but, if I'm not wrong, John told me It's not possible due to Admin rights that True Crypt asks for and it leaves traces behind. That's what I don't understand, because if I'm not wrong the Abiword portable app left a file in my documents folder (I'm not sure). Ah, and the app X-Moto uses a place in the host computer to save files, I saw a path in its setting pointing to C:.


Several apps store settings in or otherwise use folders on the host's system drive, however in official releases the launcher cleans them up (moves them to the flashdrive if it's something that matters, like settings; deletes them if it's just TEMP files, or unnecessary junk) when the program is closed.

However TrueCrypt is really difficult to truly Portablize, and IMHO it's not really worth the effort.

Note: You can use FreeOTFE (be sure to download the one that says " package: Version packaged for use with the menu system") if you're only using it on x86 (32-bit) systems [This is due to the fact that x86_64 (64-bit) Windows requires drivers to be digitally signed (which costs a lot of money)] with Admin rights.


Whenever 2.0 (RC or final) comes out, will I be able to install it on top of my existing 1.6 just so I can preserve all my settings and applications, or will I have to re-build everything from scratch?

AS I have installed the beta over 1.6 without losing anything

“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

Can you expand on what exactly was the problem with the 1.x branch?

Release Team Member

John T. Haller's picture

The 1.x branch does not work well with the most popular screen readers due to the way the graphical controls work, rendering the menu essentially invisible/blank to screen readers. I have a method around this in testing which will land in either 2.0 or 2.1 (which will be released 2-3 weeks after 2.0). After that, another alternate display method will also be created that is designed to be fully compatible with screen readers and allow for more efficient selection of apps than our 20 app scrolling list.

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

A release date! I am really looking forward to this.

(I am following another website. They have promised version 2.0 of their program at May 21st. Who will be first? I hope it is, NOT

I like how this post from John went from saying that a new set of strings for translation would be released on Monday, April 11, to being crossed out and saying Wednesday, April 13, to now saying...

"As the new interface will involve several changes, we'll be posting a new set of strings for translation during the week."

I don't know if the new set of strings for translation have been released, but I had the impression that the next Platform release (Beta, RC, or otherwise) was contingent on the translations being done.

Therefore, based on the new set of strings for translation release slipping, I don't know if we'll see the 2.0 RC this week. Based on track record, I would guess we won't see it until next week or even the week after, but I hope I am 100% wrong and the 2.0 RC shows up today or in the next couple of days.

Actually, the fun really started July 16, 2010 with the post... "From this point forward, we'll be releasing a new beta every week or two until we hit 2.0 final."

The wheels fell off the wagon at that point. Platform-wise, nothing has been released since then. Granted, a ton of apps have been released (although most are of little interest to me) and there has been a lot going on with the finances, Drupal upgrade, and so on.

But I would agree that it doesn't seem like one can put much stock in stated plans when it comes to the Platform. I'm not sure how much all of this is a result of lack of funds, lack of business skills, lack of leadership, or a combination of those and other factors. However, I don't doubt John's desire to do big things.

Waiting patiently... (Final Jeopardy! music playing)

Quoting John T. Haller from NOV. 4, 2008

John T. Haller (Homepage) - November 4, 2008 - 5:01pm

It's coming in the next release. The first test version (Alpha 1) is being released this week but it won't be enabled (Alpha 2 will have it).

It's called categories and it follows the categories of the app directory here on the site (Internet, Office, Music & Video, Development, etc). All our apps are categorized by default. But, of course, you'll be able to override, create your own, etc.


I gave up relying on any timeframe given a long time ago. The best way to miss a release date is to post one publically...

Well, I've used PortableApps for years, but only started more closely following the status of the 2.0 Platform last spring. Needless to say the process has been agonizingly slow and the announced time frames coming to fruition have a poor track record. Not exactly good for reputation. It's hard to do, but the best thing is always to say little and under-promise. You can always surprise people and over-deliver.

I guess it is best with PortableApps to expect little and be thankful for all of the good things that are released.

All of that said, I think we will finally see the 2.0 Platform RC soon, even if the final release ends up being weeks or months away.

Why don't we all get off John's back on this. It will come out when it is done and not before, It is not like we are all paying for it. It is FREE and done for free not for profit. We all have other lives besides dedicating 100% of our time to PortableApps.

SO get a life and give John slack, I am sure it will be worth it!

“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 should not post them and we should not believe them when he does. HE was the one that stated on 4/10 that the release candidate would be posted later that week. Now, halfway through the following week its supposed to be "in the next couple of days."

He has stated a couple times that he will not post dates again, and he doesn't until the next time that he does. I am sure there are a lot reason for the delays but constantly missing released dates frustrates users

When I see the download completed I believe its released.