You are here Mid-Week Update (2011-04-19): New 2.0 Theme and Schedule plus Translations

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on April 19, 2011 - 11:51pm

logoWe know it's only been a couple days since our last update, but there's been a couple developments and we wanted to get input from the community on them. 2.0 is getting a new theme and we want your thoughts on it. Also, translations are still needed for a couple dozen languages so if you or someone you know has the time and the ability to help out, please do! Read on for the details

New Theme for 2.0

After a lot of internal discussion, some input from the community and discussing things with some of our first partners, we're doing a revamp of the default themes for the 2.0 release. While our set of themes from 2.0 Beta 5 are great, they were designed about a year ago and seem to be feeling their age a bit. So, we wanted the defaults to be a bit more simple. Cleaner.

Working with our chief creative-type person, we've come up with a new default 'chrome' layer that's lighter and looks quite a bit more modern than our old one. Here's a quick look (click to zoom in and then you can navigate between them):

Helpful tip: You can middle-click the images to open them in new tabs to make it easy to switch back and forth between them quickly to see the differences.

The first two are the standard default theme that can be mixed to 16 million unique colors with a white or dark app area. This is the new red we'll be using as our primary color. The second two are a variant called 'Glow'. This is a fixed background (meaning it's a single color that can't be changed) but some folks prefer the look. The 5th is just an example of what adding in the textured rainbow look from the older theme looks like for comparison. It may help to look at the old images for reference as well:

We're debating between white and dark for the default as well as debating between the standard red and 'Glow' for the default theme. We'd love to know how you feel, though.

Platform 2.0 String Translations Posted

As mentioned a couple days ago, we've got the strings posted, so now you can help translate the Platform 2.0 to your language. We've included a few updated strings for the updater, app directory, fonts, categories and more as well as a few strings for the installer itself. We've gotten translations for several languages but still have a few dozen that need updated translations. And we'd *really* like to get as many as possible done before shipping the 2.0 Release Candidate to ensure they get as much testing as possible.

Updated 2.0 Schedule

As we're finishing up the theme changes tomorrow as well as the other couple OEM requests we mentioned previously, the release candidate will be out in the next couple days week instead of tonight. As a result, we're looking to next week for the 2.0 final release instead of later this week as we'll get a bit more buzz than releasing it just before Easter (holiday weekend for many folks), and it turns out more people than expected are away for school break or family holiday this week as well, so this coming week would be easier to get the word out and have the community help get the word out to as many users as possible. And it also means we don't have to cancel our own plans to spend this weekend with family.

So, please give the new themes a look and let us know what you'd prefer as your default. The sooner we get these done, the sooner we can get them in everyone's hands for final testing and review on multiple systems and monitors and then push out 2.0 Final. Also, don't forget that we'll be including lots of colors in both light and dark as well as including both the new cleaner chrome and the older beveled chrome for folks who prefer that style as well. So even if your favorite isn't selected, you'll still be able to switch to it with ease.

Thanks for your help in selecting the new themes, translating the platform and your patience as we finish up these last few issues getting to 2.0!

The impossible can become possible if you are awesome! - Rhino


sxshaffer's picture

I think dark would be an appropriate default. Easier on the eyes.

Many thanks for all the work you have been doing! Looking forward to the stable release Smile

It's incredibly hard to choose between these themes. They all look amazing Biggrin

I would personally choose the dark theme by a hair since it's more consistent with the overall menu. However, text on the white theme is a bit easier to read (not to glance at though).

MetaNova's picture

I think the new look is awesome! A needed improvement.


marckisawesome's picture

WOW you made it flat................... I LIKE IT!!!!!

Who Dares,Wins - S.A.S

noticed that too. I kind of liked the old round look better though.

And the portableapps-logo-signature arrow is gone.

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

I love the new themes and their new look, I think glow is better for the default because it has a bit more work than the others, is more sophisticated and since the user can't edit it's color, it sounds more "default". Basically it has more "personality" and is still modern, clean and new.

Also for default I think the light version is better, the dark one looks too heavy to be default and one gets tired of it quickly. Maybe the best idea is to be more like the Windows Start Menu, so the new user finds it as intuitive at first look, so like the Start Menu, I'd choose white for the launcher area background.

Off I go finish the translations. Keep up the good work Wink

Dark may be easier on the eyes but it's kinda monotonous too, easy to get tired of it. That said, I use it on Linux and through Wine the icons have a black canvas square behind them, no transparency, so my default has to be anything other than a white background, so I use rainbow dark. But, if that gets fixed (don't know if it's a PA.c bug or Wine bug) I'll start using the default white background again

John T. Haller's picture

It is a bug in Wine that we haven't worked around yet and should be fixed in 2.0. (We detect when running under Wine and do a couple different presentation options to work around Wine bugs.) If it isn't, we'll be working on it for 2.1.

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

ZeroKnight's picture

I'm sorry if this has been reported already, but on XP SP2 (school computers, lol :P) On all(?) themes, the rounded top corners of the menu itself have that purple bitmap transparency color right at the edge, sort of eliminating the "roundness" and generally looking bad.

I only noticed it on the default theme and "Textured Dark", but I'm going to assume that it happens on all of them. If this has already been reported, I apologize, and please ignore this comment Blum

On topic, I love Dark themes. They don't burn your eyes, and they just look awesome. Keep up the good work Biggrin

It should be possible to make "Glow" another Chrome layer choice - you could have a "White Glow" and a "Dark Glow" variant. After all, the Chrome layer is just another png layer (behind the buttons and in front of the background) that is drawn in white with alpha transparency, right?

BTW, are you going to be incorporating the ability to select options for themes (the ability to select chrome, background image, and background color, and maybe fonts) into the GUI?

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

John T. Haller's picture

The Glow theme isn't really a chrome layer that can be thrown in to work with other themes. It's a non-transparent PNG which is how we were able to make it a bit more rich with some more interesting gradients and color shifts.

Theme designers will be able to pick and choose things like that for their themes. In 2.0, it'll probably just be the straight color choices but we'll be adding more GUI options with each new release to allow for things like what you mentioned.

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

BTW, I realize that Glow currently is not a Chrome layer, but I'm pretty sure I could make one that fairly approximates it. I'm looking forward to the ability to add custom Chrome layers into themes.

I'm glad to hear that you'll be adding GUI options. I think I saw the beginnings of a color picker form tucked away in the PAM source code, which is why I hoped that was where you are going.

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

I know is is just matter of taste, but I made the experience with some desktop themes on linux which are based on dark surfaces that some elements are not easy to be seen.

Also if possible, colors in themes should be done so , that all looks also on lower color resolution , e.g. 16bit , somehow decent. Then all looks still normal on virtual machines etc, where higher color resolution is not easy.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

+1 for the Dark Theme.

Clean, simple and easy one the eyes. I can clearly see the name of the apps.

On a side note: Why should PA be changed for Linux when its a windows app?

It's not changed for Linux, it's fixed to work well under Wine (see in Linux or other OSes, mainly because not every person can afford a legitimate copy of Windows and not every app has an alternative for Linux/etc. So, it makes sense if you want to run a Windows App, in a Fake Windows environment, even if you don't have Windows.

More support equals more coverage & more users. Also, this is Software Libre, not just Free as in no cash for it. It makes sense that it should be compatible with Open-source OSes as long as they can run it.

I realize that. What I'm saying is, why should the look be changed to fit Linux.
Not be compatible, I totally understand that.

Most PA users are Windows users, after all it is a Windows app.
I find it a hassle using PA under Linux. Not all apps are compatible either.

I fully support compatibility with Linux. However, looks should be made for Windows, its native OS. Not the thousands of Linux themes.

If it's a bug it's worth fixing it, right? Also I'm saying it should be fixed *without* changing the app's look & feel, meaning Windows users won't notice any difference.

Also, it's true that some apps don't work well under Linux, but that's those apps and Wine that need fixing too, just don't let PA.c be one of them if it can be prevented.

By the way Wine isn't used only on Linux/Mac OS X for emulation, there's Open source Windows-like OSes being developed based on Wine (ReactOS for example). If and when those projects become stable and suitable for regular use, many people will chose them because it's (kind of) a free Windows, and legitimate too. Makes sense that those users are able to run this without flaws, and in that case they run it natively as if they were using Windows.

I realize that's still a long way from now but those projects exist and they're a start.

I prefer the dark glow theme myself. I feel like if it's a tiny bit harder to completely change the theme you will get less issues with those that aren't quite as savy about changing things while still giving them some freedom. Also the dark is much easier to look at and I like that it separates it from the windows menu.

That said I will probably be using the rainbow theme. It's awesome looking.

Release Team Member

+1 for Glow Theme

Windows XP and 7 standard themes are also light, and i want to use the suite at work, so it looks more professional and legal in this document-like style.

But i also think the theme is not the most important thing of this suite, please concentrate on more needed functions like

- tooltips for menu items
- "Goto App Folder" in context menu of an item
- getting a list of all hidden items

Good work anyway, keep evolving!

John T. Haller's picture

We already have the ability to show hidden items (right-click show hidden items) in 2 Beta 5, explore this folder is coming as a right-click to app icons and tooltips already exist (if you want descriptions of apps in tooltips, they'll come later once they are multilingual). But here is not the place to discuss new features, this post is about the theme redesign, so let's please stick to that Smile

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

Q: I was wondering if you put the "Show Hidden Icons" option under Options, or Manage Apps?
'cause as was stated at some point here on the PA.c forums, with it in the context menu of App Buttons hiding all installed apps (or uninstalling all visible apps when some are hidden) currently makes it impossible set them to be shown, or to set the platform to show hidden icons again.
(from the GUI at least, I know you can edit the .ini file, or can install a new app, then unhide from it's right-click menu, etc., but it's probably a good idea to make the option in the GUI accessible for such situations)


oh! I didn't realize them until your comment.
But seems to be a minor important change request.

John T. Haller's picture

If you see them, it's a bug and should be reprted in a new forum post with all details about your os, menu version, install path, os theme, menu theme, etc. They are transparent in win2k, xp, vista and win7. Wine under linux has a bug and can't handle the feature so it gets a square version.

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

> If you see them, it's a bug and should be reprted in a new forum post

I reported them ages ago - when the new themes were first made available. I think that was around 2.0 beta 2 or 3. I didn't hear anything to the effect that they were believed to have been fixed.

I see them here on Windows 7 (6.1) build 7601 running PA.c 2.0 beta 5 pre 2. I think I also see them when running the same stick on my XP machine, though I got so used to ignoring them that I can't remember (will check tomorrow).

I think I will be in the minority here in saying this, but "me no likey". For me, the best theme PortableApps ever had was the Violet one from 2.0 Beta 4. Beta 5 made this look awful with the changes to the themes and the resulting washed out colours, and for me, these new themes are no improvement on the Beta 5 themes. Oh well, I still have a copy of the Beta 4 installer handy.

Re: dark vs light - please keep in mind that dark themes are frequently not good for anyone with less than 100% perfect eyesight (such as myself), due to the text being too hard to read. A good example of a (really bad) dark theme is the Adobe Photoshop Elements v8 dark theme. With it, I can't read any text (such as in the menu bar) without moving my head to within 1cm of the monitor and squinting.

I used to have a sig...until one of the mods ate it

the dark theme might be better for the eyes, but readability-wise, there is nothing better than a white background!

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

Actually, I was saying that the dark theme is worse for the eyes, not better.

(Why can't you edit your post once someone replies to it on this board? I wanted to change something on my post above and now I can't because it has been replied to.)

I used to have a sig...until one of the mods ate it

can't change what you said after someone replied because the conversation might stop making sense.

Also, as I said, dark themes look heavy, and people get tired easily, even if at first glance they might look more consistent or pretty, but the lack of contrast also makes them more monotonous, less dynamic.

So, +1 for white background. Modernize but stick to the standard look Biggrin

My choice would be dark.
Dark with the white print is much easier on the eyes.

Thanks for all the hard work.

FWIW I like the new default white theme but to be honest I'm not that worried about the surrounding colours.

The Portable Apps concept is great in so many ways. So much so that my collection of useful applications has grown to be quite substantial (90+) and actually FINDING the one I want from a simple list can be time-consuming.

What I WOULD like to see is a better way of selecting these applications such as an option to open an expanding window showing icons for ALL the applications on the stick or even user-definable groups (systemtools, Internettools, office applications etc) of programs that could be expanded to find specific items.

I realise that this isn't going to happen in release 2.0 but offer the suggestion as food for thought.

Thanks to John and the other contributors for their development work on this really useful concept that I use daily.

Categories are about to come with the next release (it seems to be one of the most awaited features even if I consider that overrated Wink ).
I hope that sometime later the ability to jump to apps by first letter would be implemented as that would really speed things up.

I would really like to have it simpler than that, more like in the windows explorer => instant jump to the first app beginning with the typed letter (or letters if typed fast enough) without selecting a search box first.
Analogy: I really like the possibilities of Listary but it often gets in the way (up to the point of breaking its usefulnes, e.g. when selecting several entries with the keyboard using Ctrl).
Such feature request has been posted some times the last few months. But now we are way off topic => back to theme discussion... Wink

I really like the new flat look of the default theme. It is a good evolutionary step forward without changing too much. It is still clearly recognized as PA.c platform but looks a lot more professional as it appears more "solid".
I would vote for the light design as it fits better to the new standard looks of Windows 7 (and maybe upcoming Windows 8). I always found dark themes difficult to work with because fonts are definitly harder to read (perception psychology) even if I sometimes used them just as it suits my taste.
I for one could use an even lighter theme. I often use the windows 7 theme provided with one of the 2.0 betas and consider making something comparable but lighter.

While feedback from hardcore supporters is always good, and it's great to see you're open to it, from a usability angle you'd need much wider, probably random testing. For example, coders and hackers tend towards dark themes on their websites, however the general public tend towards clean white themes. So although many here prefer the dark theme, it's unlikely they're representative of the majority of the userbase and you risk turning a certain set of users off by suggesting that PA is some kind of hacker tool, when of course it should be a boon to anyone.

Now that's got that out of the way, /personally/ I like the New Default, and I'd actually prefer the Rainbow look to the new Glow. I don't like dark menus and never had, but again, that's my personal opinion and it's separate from my comments above.


Personally I tend to prefer a bright theme. It may be true that dark colors are currently in vogue. But somehow such a GUI seems overwhelming and tiring. The readability is at such a dark theme adversely affected. Accordingly the functionality should be given first priority. For this reason I also think the introduction of categories is very useful.

If you look at the GUI of the most programs in more detail, you will notice that often bright and cheerful colors are used. These colors appear to the user simply living as dark variants. As a very good example I would like to mention the programs of the Microsoft Office 2007 Suite. But when you look at the black standard GUI of foobar2000 player, then this skin looks downright dissuasive.

In summary I would therefore the above first theme set as default.

Great job with all of them!

I think "New Dark" would be good for default theme.

A second option can be "dark Glow".

Both of them help with the eyes.

Ramon E. Tavarez

LOGAN-Portable's picture

I'm unsure why the choice of the 'flat' borders is so important. The candy look (a year old) looks a bit more 3D-ish. I mean, the next step is flat colors?

Anyway I think the actual themes self are less important than the functionality.

Things I do miss from the past are the wide variety of themes, especially those free-form themes, remember those?

Anyway, also include the 'old' themes in the next release and have extra theme-packs to be added and updated the same way as other portable applications.

Including the old themes would be great (IMHO).
I'd really like to have a classic "PortableApps Menu" style theme [like this] (and it'd be awesome if it were a chrome layer that we could stick our own color choice behind, as I'd like to use it in blue on one stick and red on another ;))

And to be slightly more on topic (not that that was entirely off topic, but ... yeah):
I think that whatever theme is chosen as the default, the white (or light) version should be the default, despite the fact that I personally will switch to a dark theme, most people I know like white-backgrounded themes for most everything, and it seems more default to me if it's got a white background.
Note: I can't see a notable difference between the "NewDefault", and the "NewDefaultGlow" images on this monitor (I see some difference, but not much :() but I prefer the 2.0β5 Default ThemeSet over the look these portray (Note: This is my opinion).


we'll be including lots of colors in both light and dark as well as including both the new cleaner chrome and the older beveled chrome for folks who prefer that style as well

I think some of the criticism of the older beveled chrome, besides the colors selected for the background color, was an overall muddiness. I think if you can tweak the transparency in the chrome to let a little more of the color come through, it will be more acceptable to a lot of people.

Also, I vote for the classic red with the white beveled chrome.

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

John T. Haller's picture

The colors, especially the fonts, for the old chrome are being updated as well. But we wanted a less 3d look for the 2.0 release, hence the redesign.

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

Not sure why people are saying they find the dark theme harder to read than the white.
I find it 10x easier reading the dark theme, though.
(From the screenshots provided and the font and font size used)

If you do use the white, can't you make it a bit darker?(not dark, and not by much) I find it a bit blinding. It looks like its pure white (#FFFFFF).

I was looking at the wrong white default. The new one goes fine with the white background color.
Btw, the old image is a bit low quality. Its blurry.

Yes, new themes are much better! Congratulations. Thanks a lot.

I prefer the light theme, as it is much easier on eyes, more readable.
Please consider sharing some source files for themes (maybe sliced .psd or whatever) and we'll be able to create custom themes and share it to the community. If you're concerned about quality and don't want to have a bunch of crap, you may create a pre-moderated gallery.

I tend to launch all my PortableApps with Launchy, so I don't see the platform launcher much.

In fact, I wish a Launchy-style launcher was built-in to PortableApps. First, the integration would be tighter. Second, Launchy development has stagnated.


Bob Bagwill

My personal recommendation is for the Dark theme as default. This would give menu the "new look" for the new 2.0 release. Major releases are the time for new looks, and a dark theme is considerably different than the light theme from the 1.0 line.

Disadvantages of course are dark icons (e.g. Inkscape, VirtuaWin, Audacity) do become harder to discern. Those who do not have the best eyesight can easily switch it to a more user-friendly version. After all, Windows is not configured out of the box for those who have vision deficits, it should not be assumed that by default PortableApps should be too.

Ease of access to change the theme is probably most important. Whatever the choice in the default theme, make it easy for the user to change it will be paramount. After all, new users will use the default theme, but then after a short while they will change it to something else.

The only things in life we regret are the risks we didn't take.

"Ease of access to change the theme is probably most important."

Yes! Everybody, especially those with poor vision or color-blindness, should be able to easily see how to change the theme.

"After all, new users will use the default theme, but then after a short while they will change it to something else."

Yes, but my greatest concern is that some new users with vision problems will simply give up before figuring out how to change the theme.

From my perspective, easy to work with is much, much more important than trendy!

On the Linux issue, I wouldn't worry to much if it looks clunkier under Linux, but I would be concerned if it's difficult to read, and especially if it's difficult to figure out how to make the changes to make it more readable.

Rick Carter

I think I prefer the flat light theme. Thought I do use it with Linux (Linux is my main OS), most computers I work on using my flash drive with PortableApps are Windows PCs. And the non-transparent icon bug with wine doesn't bother me to much.

Go with a dark/black background. Obviously historical research proves what facilitates the "easiest" and "quickest" read. Example>> Newspapers; traffic signs; most billboards; default screens on word processors; etc, etc . . . NOT!!! (Think retro look of black background when that internet thing first appeared.)

Go for the masses, John. There will always be one or two that will buy a brown car, but facts point to the overwhelming popular choice.

Your current 'theme' and 'options' choices are super fine and should easily accommodate the most critical user with perhaps the buyer of brown cars.

John your work is outstanding and has 'legs' as it currently stands!!! Don't get distracted and run off on a gimmicky rabbit trail.

[My CV - 35 yrs in media arts]


I think the white app area makes the text and app icons more distinct. I think there is a tendency for the platform to look too dark overall, so brighten it up.

The very fact that you are asking the community to choose between dark or white surely indicates that this area should be a user-definable option? At the end of the day, me thinking things look more distinct on a light background could well be down to my eyesight, but there's the rub; everyone's eyesight is different and perhaps there should be a setup option that gives the user the choice, rather than going for a black or white choice and having to go with whatever the majority (or those that shout loudest) choose.

I personally wouldn't use the platform with a black app background. Take a look at the white app background on CodySafe - crystal clear.

...and I'm sure someone will tell me that you can switch between the black / white app areas?

Nearly forgot to mention: When you increase the font sizes to large, some app narratives don't show completely. Ended up having to edit the name. Just aesthetics.

Just my 2 cents...

Cambridge, UK

I like all of these themes except that last one: "Textured Rainbow Dark". I'm not a fan of that one but as long as it's not the default I don't really care.

Thanks for all the hard work on this guys!

I posted earlier before lunch, but while at lunch I became aware of the dozens of people doing their phone/text thing and became noticeably aware of my own iPhone and now in my office my iPad. Light backgrounds, shaded boarders, 'bright look', is prevalent everywhere. Looks a lot more like PA's current theme/scheme than the flat darker new look being polled.

Can a trillion Apple users be wrong? While all the other retailers are vacant, Apples stores in the Mall are packed.

Suggest. Pay the "sincerest form of flattery" to Apple. Not too sincere though - Think recent Samsung action.


if it was in the installer- what theme do you want as your default light or dark?? id think this would be simple to set up (winamp's installer does this).

or you could put a poll on the main page that should get the problem solved.

just throwing ideas out.
i like the rainbow theme lol

What ever you do please include a blue theme in there some where. I like the blue one thats included in the beta version of the platform I'm using.

This is not a high priority for me, but a simple little button or arrow of some sort that will slide in/out the right-side "panel" would be nice. For those that want it visible all the time, they could just leave it out. For those that do not wish to see it most of the time, they could leave it hidden only sliding out the right-side panel when they want/need it.

All of that said, I certainly don't want the platform delayed over this.

I asked about this a while back (back when 2.0b5 was first introduced), but never got an answer.

On the right-click menu, there's a Run as Administrator option. Could the security shield be shown there?

The idea of the Security Shield being shown with the Run as Administrator option is a good idea for Windows PC (XP thru 7). If nothing else, it would provide some consistency with Windows.

John T. Haller's picture

When you add an image to one menu option, all the others revert to old style and no longer line up. If you add images to all of them to line them up, radio indicators and checkmarks no longer show up (Hide, Favorite, etc). So it will be added at some point, but will require more work to manually manage checkmark states in code.

This is thread about theme selection, so let's stay on that.

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

Sorry about being off-topic, John. But, the Security Shield is something to look at in a minor/major update down the road.

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...

John T. Haller's picture

I'd add it in right now if it was a simple matter of just adding it in. But with losing the ability to show if Favorite and Hidden are checked or having the menu look very odd without lining up, it's not an option just yet.

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

NathanJ79's picture

The new theme looks nice, in a copper/rust kind of way.

WRT theme choices, I would like to see fewer choices. One default theme (with a day/night or light/dark switch in the settings that would apply to all themes) and a color picker much like what you get in Windows 7. Also the option to "snap to" the color settings you have in Vista/7.

That's how I'd do it, anyway, if it were up to me.

Definitely agree that an "explore this folder" option is needed, especially for Firefox Portable.

I get the magenta corners as well on XP at work. I always have. I brought it up on the forums at one point, and don't remember anything ever came of it. I don't use the Platform at home, but just checked, and no magenta corners, but I'm using Win7 here. Anyway, they don't bother me. I stopped noticing them.

The light theme, white background, is definitely more readable and the icons show up crisper and clearer.

That said, I don't really care which is the default as long as both are included. As someone mentioned earlier, I would like a theme that blends in with the windows 7 theme better. There was one available in one of the earlier betas but it doesn't seem to be around anymore.

I personally have always really liked the "black - Dark" theme. So the default dark version would be the one I'd prefer as a "default" theme. I've never been fond of any apps or windows that have text on a white background, unless I'm working on a text document.

It definitely gives the eyes a break.

You know what, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life TAKE THE LEMONS BACK! Get mad!! I don't want your lemons; what am I supposed to do with THESE!?

Dark will do for me.

By the way how long is a couple of days over the pond ( it's been 4 now )

How funny... I was thinking the same thing last night about the "the release candidate will be out in the next couple days instead of tonight." which was said Tuesday night. I've given up putting any stock in the time frames given.

NathanJ79's picture

PortableApps has been on Valve Time since I've been here. Which I think they inherited from id tech. The whole "it's done when it's done". Just think of the next big thing from PA as Half-Life 2 Episode 3. Or Duke Nukem Forever. You know it'll happen at some point, you just don't know when.

I think it will be most amusing if Duke Nukem Forever comes out before the official platform gets categories. I have no doubt it will, but it will be an amusing factoid.

spacingham's picture

Coming soonish to an internet near you... maybe. Please, I beg of you, stop mentioning time frames already. It only gets peoples hopes up only to be let down, again & again & again & again. Not a very good confidence builder, in fact quite the opposite. It's coming, oh wait... it's not. It's almost here, oh wait... not quite yet. This is turning into a bad joke of the magnitude that it's likely to overshadow how great & useful PAM is. I sincerely apologize if that seems harsh. I do indeed appreciate your effort and your willingness to give away the results of that effort, I use it everyday and will continue to. Just quit mentioning "when" is all I'm asking.

the statement below is false
the statement above is true

John T. Haller's picture

Sorry about that. I'm working on it now if it's any consolation Smile It's nearly complete.

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

I'm sure it is nearly complete, but keep in mind we have been told that for months. So, it is meaningless.

John T. Haller's picture

Right. Point taken. Ok, take it as it'll be posted "as soon as it's done" and I've updated the topic appropriately. And let's end any and all discussions of when it's coming in this topic and focus on the theme here and the icon possibility I posted below.

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Pyromaniac's picture

Are we gonna see some new icons in this next release (they're the same in the preview).

John T. Haller's picture

I've got a silver set as well as the current set (as seen in the screenshots). I'm debating between them in the back of my mind as I'm finishing things up. They're simpler, so they will go with more themes without clashing. But they seem a bit less interesting to me than the current color ones. I may post them both along with the release candidate to get some feedback. Here's a look.

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spacingham's picture

I like the silver set, they look like Nuvola folder icons. I was using blue Nuvola folders with the blue theme in 1.xx a while back, they looked sweet. I would welcome the change to silver as I personally never really liked the folder icons PAM shipped with. An idea for the future would be a separate option to change the icon set independently of the theme.

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NathanJ79's picture

One of the reasons for the PortableApps Platform being so feature-thin, as I understand it, has been so that when people can buy flash drives with the Platform loaded on it, it's simple enough for Grandma. With that in mind, you ought to get free-to-redistribute icons that look very much like those in Windows XP, Vista, and 7, and have the Platform detect the host OS, and have the icons match. That way, people know what they're getting.

I do agree that the option to customize would be cool. I've said before that there should be a second Platform, a "Pro" platform that has more features. Maybe even charge for this. The stock Platform doesn't need categories. Most people who buy a flash with the suite are gonna update, but they're not gonna come get a bunch of apps. Not at first, anyway. Let us cats who have been here a couple years pony up five bucks or something for the Pro version with categories, portable file associations, and maybe some other neat feature. It doesn't even have to be open source (which would make it too easy for Josh to rip and re-brand it). I mean, obviously that's not for the best with the focus on open-source and all that, but if you're gonna get into commercial apps (being part of the PA ecosystem) anyway, why not give the base platform, as is, away, and then charge for a feature-loaded one for the real geeks?

I still stand by my idea of having the system info in the 'wasted space' in the lower-right above eject/exit. Just host CPU type/speed, RAM type/capacity, GPU stats, OS, etc.

Another idea is a more integrated portable platform. Explore would open your portable file manager, if you have one. Look how IE6's preferences worked, you had those 5-6 functions (like HTML editor, text editor, etc.) that could be assigned to an app. Wouldn't even need to break portability or use a registry. Assign the apps, and if they're moved, when they're called, the option would go back to (host) default.

Pyromaniac's picture

While I do wish I could see a few more features, I think one of the reasons it's been kept so simple is to keep it's size down. Nobody (at least not me) wants to be slugging around a 20 MB menu, albeit loaded with features. A lot of style for only a tenth that size suites me fine. Smile

And Pro? For a menu? Absolutely not. Never ever will I ever pay for a menu on my flash drive. Ever.

NathanJ79's picture

Most people won't pay for what they can get for free. Some will.

How small is your flash drive? See, this is another reason I recommend portable hard drives over flash drives. Flash drives have one benefit: You can throw them at a wall and they will probably be okay. I pitched my Corsair Flash Voyager into my brother-in-law's fully heated grill, and after he got done eating, we plugged it into his Xbox, loaded up my Gamertag, and played a bunch of Rockband songs off it. I couldn't do that with my hard drive. I've got a 300GB drive here. The menu says it has 231.9GB free. I could care less if the menu were 2MB or 20MB.

Besides, a few features like that aren't gonna add 18MB. That's just silly. Oh, and the menu is 5.44MB on disk (the PortableApps\ folder). Even still, categories is just some more code. How much is that gonna add? I doubt the features I suggested would even tack on 14.56MB, and even if they did, the days of 32-128MB flash drives is behind us. When you can get 4GB for $10 or so, why have less? 8GB is around $20 and that's the sweet spot; paying $30-40 for 16GB (which is a good size) you might as well just get a portable hard drive, twice as much, but in the 320-500GB range.

It is more in tone with the rest of the menu (logo at the top has the same colour) but I like the coloured ones better. The grey ones look a bit boring.

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