You are here Update (2011-05-21): App Directory Localized, Themes, Finances Update, Server Issue Fixes

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on May 21, 2011 - 6:49pm

July 6th Update: The next status update will be posted later this week!

logoIt's time for a (bit belated) update on the goings-on of and the Road to 2.0. We've got the translations in for the new app directory included with the 2.0 platform, some additional theme/chrome options, details on the site availability issues we've been experiencing, an update on finances and when drives will be available and some more 2.0 screenshots. So, let's get to it...

Platform 2.0 App Directory Localized and Icons Updated

After we did the last round of translations, a lot of the work on 2.0 behind the scenes has been focused on finishing up the Portable App Directory included with the platform. The Portable App Directory allows you to add apps with just a couple clicks without even opening a web browser. As our site upgrade to support multiple languages isn't yet complete, we had to come up with an alternate display routine. So, we're showing the Category and Sub-Category for apps in the directory for non-English users for now, until descriptions are available for all. The work to handle this and cleanup the app directory database to work properly with it has been completed. Here's a quick look at it in German:

You may also notice that the app icons have been improved significantly. We've finished the process of updating the hundreds of app icons to properly show in full color with alpha transparency in the app directory for all apps. The ability to add-in new app icons has been improved as well.

New Theme Chrome: Aerish, An Aero-style Theme

As many of you know, we'd originally planned to have our Aero theme ready for the 2.0 release. We decided to hold it back until the next release to better tweak a few bits of it, especially layout changes needed to make it work in the same dimensions as non-aero. In the meantime, though, our standard Aero-style PNG chrome that we're going to be using as a fallback (if you have an Aero theme selected but the current PC doesn't have Aero available) has been completed. Like our older Beveled chrome layer and new Modern/Flat chrome layer, the Aerish chrome layer is available in both white and dark styles and has a standard rounded version and a squared opaque version (for use on Wine or when transparencies don't work on the local PC). The colors are still being finalized, but here's a look at it:

As you can see, it looks very close to Aero style on Windows Vista and Windows 7 even though it is just a straight image theme. It can also be used with images as you can tell from the example Rainbow theme included above. It works better with either light colors or very dark ones due to the way the image is built. Like the Beveled and Flat themes, the Aerish theme will be included with the platform by default and the Aerish white and dark chrome layers will be available for themers to use with their own themes.

You'll also notice a set of new icons in the above screenshots. We may be switching to these by default for all themes but are still exploring options. We're also considering switching to Aerish (and Aero) for our default theme but may be exploring that in a later release. Either way, none of these icon changes or theme additions will be holding up the 2.0 release or taking time away from 2.0 pre-release and final development. Much of it was already done in anticipation of 2.0 having Aero and the refinements were done in parallel with the 2.0 code and translation finalization. We just thought you'd enjoy getting to see them now, and be able to use Aerish with the 2.0 release.

For comparison purposes (and to keep them handy), here's the current theme:

Server Downtime and Upcoming Fixes

We've been busily working on several server outages over the past few weeks behind the scenes, including tweaks to our configuration and the way users browse the site. You may have noticed that at peak times (weekdays US time) the server has been inaccessible occasionally from 5 to 15 minutes at a time along with an hour-long outage on Friday. The reason for this is the growing popularity of the site and the workload on the server. We've tweaked what we can and are in the process of offloading static images to our new content delivery network node we've setup with Rackspace. This will be going live in the next few days.

The content delivery network will reduce load on our primary hosting server as users will be pulling images from it. It should also speed up site access for users in the process. While in the short-term, it will cost us a bit more to set up, it should ultimately save us money on bandwidth costs. We've also updated the Portable App Directory to pull images from the content delivery network as well.

Financial Update

I've secured a personal bridge loan and tapped my other personal funding sources to handle our monthly expenses until we begin the 2.0 fundraising drive and we can begin selling flash drives. The company we've partnered with is still a few weeks away from having their manufacturing and fulfillment processes ready for the sales. As mentioned before, these will be standard, retail-quality drives with the logo on them and the Platform pre-loaded.

As mentioned in the last update, with the 2.0 Pre-Release 1 release, we're still going to begin a donations drive similar to what Wikipedia ran earlier this year. We're going to be shooting for $50,000 to help pay off some of our debt load that we're personally carrying, pay our rising hosting bills (up about 5%-10% per month and soon to spike with the Portable App Directory) and handle some other necessities along those lines. We're going to take a bit of a unique approach with this as we're going to be taking these same donations we get and donating them back to the open source projects we make portable once we're in the black business-wise, kind of like an 'open source loan'. We're happy for any suggestions around the best way to structure it all as well as ways to get the word out and encourage donations. And if anyone is feeling generous and would like to donate early, it will really help pay for things now and be very much appreciated!

2.0 Schedule

As soon as we finalize the last few localization issues and bugs, switch images over to our new content delivery network, and stabilize our web server, we'll be loosing the Platform 2.0 Pre-Release 1 to the world. We'll be pushing it out to existing 2.0 Beta users via the Updater's ability to update the platform and making it available on the website as the recommended download (while still having the current 1.6.1 stable release for users who prefer it).

Once it is available, we'll primarily be looking for any bugs and localization issues before upping it to 2.0 final. We'll also be going through our existing app set and updating the dozen or so older apps that are currently in the older Format using an installer that doesn't properly support silent mode. That way, users will be able to pick anything from our app directory and have it automatically download and install properly regardless of when the base app was last updated.

That's it for this update. Thanks to everyone who's made an early donation, helped chime in on theme ideas and submitted or updated a translation!

Thanks for everyone who's helping out with 2.0... and making it rock!

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

UPDATE: Content Delivery Network Switchover: You can get additional details on the CDN switchover in this forum topic. Updates were posted on May 27th, May 30th and June 2nd.


Thanks for the long awaited update. I love the new aero theme and icons!
Wish you luck on the server problems and finance costs =/

Communication is key Wink

That's all I gotta say.

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!?

Gotta love how this is on Rapture Smile

May the Shwartz be with you

You too?

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!?

If your talking to me then you are mistaken. I am only making a joke of the fact that it is Rapture, but I do not believe in that BS.

May the Shwartz be with you

One: yes I was.
And two: oh, okay. Sorry about that. I had had enough of it at home; wasn't expecting to see any mention of it here...^^;

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!?

I like when I like what I'm reading. And I like what I'm reading.

Glad I'm in europe. No site outtages here.
@John: Thanks for the info and for all the hard work. I really hope we'll get over the financial gap from "you're funding it" to "we all are funding it".

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

marckisawesome's picture

wow the aerish blue looks great!

Who Dares,Wins - S.A.S

Aerish blue caught my eye straight away. Like it.

@JohnH: Nice update John - it really highlighted just how much is going on.

Cambridge, UK

Glad to see that there is forward progress. Thanks for all you do John. I know that I definitely plan to pick up one of the branded USB drives.

Any plan to see through an eStore tied to Amazon or eBay? Maybe something through ThinkGeek?

Recovering programmer

I am probably the only person on the Internet who can't stand the Faenza icon theme.

but if I read it right you can change that.

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

Hello and thank you for the latest on Platform 2.0. I can't wait, I am sure it is going to do very well in the market. From what I have seeing so far it is what most if not all have been waiting for including me :). I just want to congratulate you on a job well done.

Good luck with the server issues and with collecting funds.

Kind and warm regards

I gave to the last Wikipedia drive (don't use it that much, but it's a resource that we wouldn't want to lose); I also gave to MusicBrainz (hey, I use the meta tag data and don't mind supporting them).

I've used PortableApps for the past five years - and my hand will go in my pocket for this as well.

$50,000 is very small beer. 50,000 / 1.6237 GBP = 30,793 GBP. 20 GBP donation would only require 1,540 donors. The user base of PortableApps has got to be way beyond that. Even taking out those users that still need to hang on to their allowances / pocket money, there should still be plenty of income earners who are going to donate.

Fingers crossed the funding drive will raise twice as much as you hope, just to take the financial pressure of individuals and let the business fund itself.

Cambridge, UK

Im thinking of making a "billboard" in SecondLife to promote portable apps
but i am running into a problem that you can't download the platform from the link
(i think its the scripting gettting in the way). I have access to a webhost where i could host a copy of the file but i want to make sure that it would be "legal" to do so.

First, I don't know if JTH wants to allow this.
But more importantly...
A billboard is aimed primarily at people who don't already know about, right? Well for those people, it's a better idea to first get them to this site (just to plain old, so they can learn about it and see the wide range of apps here, before they download the platform. It's easy enough to download the platform once they are here, anyway. But most importantly, it encourages noobs to be more informed before they just download and go - which ultimately saves everyone time and unnecessary questions.

Just poster up a nice advert and add

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

I really like the new icons.

Can't wait to get my hands on the new platform.

they feel more open source-y to me (not that I had a problem with the other ones, though).

William Berzoff's picture

Thanks for making such an excellent piece of software !
Will we also get the possibility to create sub-menu's ?
I ask this because I tend to loose oversight (many apps) and load time on older PC's is still kinda slow.
If you still need some translation work done: I can do English to Dutch; no problem.

[edit: I found my way to the language file and are currently working on it]

John, thanks for the update. The silence is unfortunate, but at least it sounds like some nice progress has been made on a few fronts in the meantime.

Hopefully, we will finally see the Platform 2.0 Pre-Release 1 in the next couple of weeks.

... but expect to get $10 from me within the week. I'd give more given how effin' awesome and amazingly stable the betas are, along with the fact that I have basically portabilized my weblife to a block about ten ounces in weight, but ten is about all I can give at the moment. I'll probably just buy a drive later this year once the store's up. For now, *reaches into his pocket* here's ten bucks.

Keep up the good work, John. T3h 1n73rw385 4ppr3c14735 y0ur wr157-5n4pp1n9 w0rk.

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!?

This was just a status update and no release.

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

How can i update my portableapps?

... for the great news Smile


Paid for Software more or less?
What You need is OSS!

Could you remove the icon from the taskbar and only put it in the tray icons? Thanks

[duplicate comment removed by mod JTH]

see here.

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

Is there any way I can get the latest source and compile it myself? It sounds like it is stable enough for me and has the features I am waiting for. I can live without localizations or fancy skins.
And BTW, thanks for all the excellent work.

I'm glad I don't like spinach, because if I did then I would eat it, and I can't stand the stuff.

And I don't know if there's a mercurial or nightly builds repository for the platform. I know Chris maintains one for his projects, esp. the Launcher, but I haven't found one for the Platform itself.

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

Chris Morgan's picture

The Platform is not currently in our Mercurial repositories; I keep repositories for the Installer, Launcher and Development Toolkit and Steve keeps a repository for Toucan. Wait and see if it gets used for the Platform after 2.0; it may do.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

I'm sure that there are a decent number of people that want to help in working out the challenges in the platform, and that has the potential to really speed up the release. It's kinda hard to really get involved if all you have to work with is the source for a beta that was released last July. (I'm assuming that there has been significant work on the code since then).

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

Don't hold your breath. The announcement from last July STILL states that new betas would be forthcoming weekly until the final release.

All I have seen this past year are false promises failure to inform with consistency.

I dislike being bitter when I'm getting something for free, but come on. This is crazy. I use Portable Apps all the time and I've made a number of the apps myself for personal use. But this bullcrap that we've seen for a year now just doesn't juve at all.

"That other portable app site" that John frequently removes from mention here has released a good 8 or 9 updates and entire interface redesign in the past year.

So, what's the problem here? And there is a reason why open source is called open source - because it's open. Not "under development by a secret society" for a year like this project has been and with absolutely zero access to the work that is being done.

I have never seen a definition of open source that would require publication of the source of non-released development versions of the software. As long as source code of the released versions is available, it is open source and that is the reason why it is called that.

If you really dislike being bitter when you're getting something for free, I can't see who or what is preventing you from not being bitter: I read quite some bitterness in your lines.

And you know what I do when something I got for free doesn't meet my expectations? I ask for my money back: I always got every last cent Wink

No typin th las lette ca sav yo plent o spac

Naw, not bitter. I just have this bad habit of trusting when people tell me they will do something. I don't even get upset if they fail to do it once in a while - we're all human.

But free or not, donationware or not - no matter what you intend to offer others, and no matter what the cost, your word is more valuable than anything else.

Lies, delays, more lies, bogus issues cropping up over and over and over, and providing an open source application and then for a year refusing to allow anyone access to it, are all signs of someone who needs to step aside and allow someone else to take the reigns.

You know, someone to help foster its growth, reliability and that little thing called "building an online community around that which you take great pride in" are the rules I grew up on with the Internet. I'm 39 and been in this since using my 2400 baud modem to connect to a local BBS where creative ASCII were the only "images" the platform supported.

You can call it whatever you like, and tell me to p*ss off because I'm bitter. But the fact will never change: a liar is still a liar and when that has been proven as the leading attribute of a man's character, than he is destined to failure in all that he does in life. What comes around goes around.

John T. Haller's picture

You've already been politely asked to stop once. You were requested to refrain from posting the same thing over and over when you created your account in January and spammed several threads at once with duplicate comments (which were removed as per the forum guidelines you agreed to). This is your third and final warning.

Forum GuidelinesPlay Nice - This community is only as strong as its members. As such, everyone is expected to conduct themselves accordingly. Name-calling, insults, etc have no place here. This shouldn't even have to be mentioned, but there have been some bad apples in the past.

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

In all my time here, I have never seen John release anything with a known bug that is under his control and not impossible to resolve. There are way too many expectations for 2.0, and it is a enormous jump from 1.6. Think about how many bugs could be lurking in the Platform that us, as end users will never know about. Then, imagine trying to fix them all with personal issues in between.

I see your point of view, and I respect you for not being one of those careless nitwits who type slang in all their posts, but think about how contributing your posts really are to the community. We all know John missed a date and rubbing it in his face does not help.

I think you make some good points, but I would save your breath. It seems like there are a few who recognize the issues in how all of this has been handled the last few months (almost 1 year). However, the majority as you mention will bring up the fact the the software is free and so on or will simply say what a great job John is doing as if there is no grey area. I personally think John and others have done a great job in many ways, but I'm not going to just ignore the problems which are real.

Bottom line... whether I agree with all of your thoughts or not, I think you are wasting your time with the majority mindset around here.

Maybe it sometimes it's really better to save your breath than to let loose every bitter complaints one could imagine.

I think everyone is aware of the problems as they are obvious. Some of them may be avoidable, some of them not. How one personally judges them is very different. And not every disappointment has to be cried out.
I'm waiting for an update of the platform for quite a long while now (it's really a bit longer than the "first" announcement of last july) and would like to have it better yesterday than tomorrow. I am not disappointed, though, but that is my personal feeling. I quite understand the disappointments even if I don't share them. I simply don't get upset by something like a delayed software update. For a nearly bugfree predecessor. It is not as if the 1.6.1 or the 2.0b5 are unusable...

The fact that it is "free and so on" is only one aspect of the matter. This is John's project at first and he is not bound to anyone. Even if it were morally questionable he shurely could decide to cancel any further development for his own reasons anytime. That's up to him. And he would be right to do so even if it would not please a lot of people.
But he does not. Also, for his own reasons. He has good motivations to continue and expand this project. And he really is putting in a lot of dedication.
The outcome in one aspect (the platform) is slow for some time, so what? You cannot wait? Or you lost your patience because of unfulfilled pledges? You lost your faith in the announcements? Or the project? All of that is understandable for shure. And it may be criticized, too. If you stick to the facts.
But there is a difference between criticism and accusations. Calling someone a liar definitly crosses the line.

I don't have enough insight to what's going on behind the scenes to start complaining and I think most complainers don't have, too. So, while I am aware of the problems, I can live with it. And good, too, without losing my respect for John and his work.

Yes, what you said^^. Haha, where are the new betas?

I hope this is not another case of the Duke Nukem syndrome., It's VaporWare until it happens.

Naw, this isn't quite the same. At least with Duke Nukem they said "it will be out when and if it comes out" instead of here with "any day now" or "sometime next week" or "a new beta every week or two" etc.

Will it have a password protected setting where when you plug it in it asks for a password to get to the data.


Requests for additional features should be made by posting to the support forum for the platform.

And, honestly, I hope John doesn't listen to any such requests until after he gets the release candidate out the door.

Rick Carter

Fear not! I this special case, it has been requested and discussed so often and the answer is (not simple but definite atm): It can't be done.
(One can use a hardware encrypted flash drive instead, as one possible solution)

John T. Haller's picture

No additional features are being considered other than a 5-minute add-on or two (example) that can provide something important without taking additional coding time and without requiring any additional translations... actually, that's the only one I've added in since last week and the last addition. Everything else, no matter how small, is on hold until 2.1.

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

...that categories/folders in the menu are on hold? I'm having a hard time finding a listing of what we have not seen yet, but it's in the final, and what turned out to be a big enough headache to get put off until the main update is clean and out. Not complaining if it is, just trying to get a feel for how many iterations out that feature is as of current planning. I don't need anything terribly fancy, and I don't even mind sorting things myself, but there are way too many apps in my list for my control-freak tendencies to be happy, and my workarounds are kinda funky. Wink

the best is to wait till release day to see what will be released.

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

John T. Haller's picture

Categories/folders are included. I meant we're not taking any new feature requests for the 2.0 release and they'll only be considered for 2.1 and beyond.

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

Can we get a mini-update, John? Just give us something to go on... Anything... Please... Sad

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!?

John T. Haller's picture

I posted updates on the content delivery network move on May 27th, May 30th and Today right here in the forum (pinned to the top of the general forum):

I've linked to it in the main topic, too. I should have linked it in earlier for all the folks who start getting antsy with no well-publicized updates.

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

At least people will rest easy with that. I think...

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!?

I'm going to assume that, come release time, the theming engine will be the same as it currently is...

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just hoping that for a future release there will be other parameters that can be changed, such as button placement. Not requesting it now, I'm just saying.

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!?

However, I'm not sure how the various options (chrome, background color, etc) might be controlled by the platform.
The only screenshot I could find of the options being developed
doesn't reveal too much.
I think there were some things that were being experimented with regarding fonts... I'm not sure if we'll see the ability to change fonts or font-weights, or change the font size beyond the two pre-set size, but I'd love to see that.

As for button placement - I'm pretty sure that it would take a complete code rewrite to allow the end-user to change the location of the buttons at will.

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

Sad Makes me wonder whatever happened to PTC... I miss the mod 34 menu. It was so much fun. :lol:

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!?

Now that the content delivery network switch-over is done, I wonder what is holding up the release of Platform 2.0 Pre-Release 1. ???

John T. Haller's picture

The final few bugs to be addressed, the installer to handle upgrading from the current 2.0 Beta 5 release (which doesn't properly shutdown when upgrading using the updater plus it gets the downloaded installer 'stuck' in its TEMP directory and can't clean it up), and the 17 outdated apps.

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

But I don't see how the outdated apps should delay the release of the platform.
Unless the current versions of these apps do not function in 2.0PR1, I'd wager that most people would rather the platform get moved to the front of the line.
Also: There will always be outdated apps, new ones get added to the list every day, so waiting for outdated apps becomes kind of a Zeno's Paradox.

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

John T. Haller's picture

I'm dealing with finite time (mine). 7 of those apps were submitted by either the publishers or devs and shouldn't be delayed. Some are security updates and are far more important than a new test release of the upcoming platform... and some of those are on me because the original devs don't update them anymore.

I'm, of course, not saying I'm always going to be updating apps over updating the platform. But updating Iron (security), Firefox Beta (features and security), LibreOffice (features and security), Miranda IM (stability), qBittorent (security), VLC (security) would definitely take precedence.

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

Maybe you could give some of said apps to other devs?
I for my part have a couple of apps where I know there wont be lots of updates (if any) so I could take some over.

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

John T. Haller's picture

Most of them are other dev's apps that they don't update. It happens a lot.

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

You are spreading yourself too thin. If you function as the lead developer of the platform, AND the financial arm of the org, AND the promotional manager, AND the guy who cleans up when devs neglect their apps, AND a thousand other things, you are headed for bad mojo.
With the new ini-driven Launcher format, it should be possible for people lower on the totem pole to update these apps instead of you. Maybe you need to call for more devs?
A couple of other avenues that might help:
- Do you have any interns? I have friends whose businesses operate on a thread, but they are able to get interns to help.
- GSOC (Google Summer of Code). I think for this year, the deadlines have passed, but it's a way to get quality help and fresh eyes on the project. Have you ever tried to get PA.c onto GSOC?

I just don't understand how, with all the talented member of this community, every neglect app falls on you to handle. I think if you asked, you'd get quite a few people coming forward to take the burden from you.

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

John T. Haller's picture

People come forward to do apps, but then get busy with school, work, etc. As we're not a 503(c) non-profit, applying to GSoC would have been more difficult. And you can't have interns without enough office space for them. A huge chunk of the apps I just posted are done by other people, but I still have to digitally sign them and then post them. The digital certificate has to stay under our control for legal reasons, so no one else can do that yet. This is one reason we may be scaling them back (possibly just the installer itself so I can just sign and post rather than recompiling the launcher, signing, recompiling the installer, signing and then posting).

Either way, there's nothing that can be done about it at this exact moment, so I'd like to avoid the distraction and just finish up. Let's table this or put it somewhere else as I don't think we need a big discussion about it in the comments within a blog update post here.

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

According to the download page, LibreOffice 3.4.0 is not meant to replace 3.3.2, but is an "early adopters'" release, with warnings about some not-quite-harmless issues in the release notes. A version 3.3.3 is supposed to be released in about a week, followed by 3.3.4 and 3.3.5, and 3.4.0 will be replaced by more stable bug fix releases (see the ReleasePlan).
Taken all that into account, maybe it might be better not to rush 3.4.0, but perhaps think about doing something similar to what is done with beta and dev releases of Google Chrome.

Sorry if this should have been in LibreOffice forum, development forum or Outdated Official PortableApps thread, but I thought it was relevant here.

No typin th las lette ca sav yo plent o spac

John T. Haller's picture

I didn't realize that. In that case, it'd be more like a TEST path in parallel to the main one. Lots of open source projects do this, one for stable one for new stuff. That may not be the case here, though, so I think we'll just see how it fleshes out. For now, we'll call it the LibreOfficePortableTest release until they say 3.4 as stable and the recommended download.

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

About the platform update:
Wouldnt it be easier to release this platform update like the ones in the past; without the ability for updates via the updater?
And code it in a way so from now on it would support being updated/stopped by the updater.

This would make it a bit more user unfriendly but much easier for you.

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

I know I'm moving onto thin ice with this post. But I couldn't help writing. I recently donated some money to PortableApps but afterwards I asked my self: Why? Obviously not because I'm expecting the 2.0 to come out anytime soon. It took me some time, but now I know: to write this entry without being called a free-rider.

I have started using Portable apps ages ago. But I'm the kind who likes to install a lot on his drive. And Portableapps became clumsy - not to say unsable - with may apps. You know the story - long scrolling, tedious updating...
So I have been sitting and waiting for some platform updates. And when nothing happend, started to look for alternatives. Which I use now extensively. And it works very well for me: Categories, automatic updates, frequent updates, etc.
And I just stopped using Portableapps. But I am with you John. I want to use Portableapps. But not like this.
So I followed the Portableapps page, trying to extract some information about updates. In between thing seemed to have been advancing a bit, but nothing was ever published. Except the famous beta5, but I'm not using betas.

I am a developer myself and I know your problem very well: You cannot handle the size of the updates anymore. It's an endless loop of testing and developing. It will never be perfect und thus you never post any update. You are doing to much at a time und too much yourself. And you cannot change this now, because you're the only one who knows how thing are working.
I pray for you, that you can someday finish the 2.0. But after that, please listen to some advice, and change your developing cycle to Agile (or the like) and do frequent, tiny updates. It makes things so much easier.

I wish you all the best and will follow your updates.

"The first sign of a heart attack is the belief that you are indispensable."Wink

John T. Haller's picture

I'd highly suggest using beta 5. Realistically, it is beta in name only. It's just as stable as 1.6.1. We made the mistake of holding off on numbering updates for super-major changes. Beta 5 probably should have been 2.0. And I should have posted 3.0 with categories and 4.0 with the new app store by now. Beta 5 will allow you to automatically update all your apps. And you can use favorites to pin all your commonly used apps to the top, that way your 20 common apps require no scrolling and just a single click. This will be automated later, but is manual now.

As has been mentioned dozens of times now, the development process is changing post 2.0 and we've dropped all additional features other than we what we already announced. We'll be doing frequent smaller updates ala Google Chrome and Firefox. But we can't do that until 2.0 is out the door. It's nearly complete and I'm working on that as priority one now that the website isn't crashing anymore. Well, that and financials, of course, so I can keep the site live.

So, again, I'm completely aware, and in agreement. So, it doesn't need to be said again. Smile I understand you wish things were happening faster and are disappointed that they have not. It's already been paired down, the translations are done, the site is stable (until we have more traffic), I just need to finish the last couple show stopper bugs and then push it out the door. I can't make that happen any faster than it is happening. And I won't post it as it is now and have people with 2.0 Beta 5 (which has shipped on some flash drives commercially and is used by lots of people) unable to automatically update or people using categories or lots of apps having crashes due to GDI overflows. Fear not, it'll be soon.

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

Thanks John for your extensive and swift answer, it's highly appreciated. I know that writing it must have taken you some precious time. But it are posts like this that keep people assured that things are indeed under control and advancing.

I'll start using the beta5 as you suggested and will follow the news on the this site.

I've also been using the menu for some time. I used the R34MOD though. This was good but very slow loading due to the amount of portable apps i have, around 300! Because of this i upgraded to v2b5. But because of the long wait for categories i switched [illegal platform]. Then in Dec 2010 i switched back due to the new apps and talk of new menu as well as [illegal platform] having bugs. But i have to give John a piece of advice: NEVER GIVE ANY RELEASE DATES. Then users can't be disappointed. It's fair enough you have alot to deal with but then why give a date you can't stick to? You may had every intention of sticking to them, but a year late so far is ridiculous. Looking back, how could you possibly believe you could've released the next platform update a year ago? Easy to say now, but surely you could've forseen at least some me the problems or extra work required. And now even your promise of weekly updates has stopped. I have to say that wot done a great job with the platform, and i hope it all works out for the best. I was all set to have a proper moan and a dig but after reading some of the above comments, i realised it's actually unfair and wrong to do so. Even if there were no platform just apps I'd be greatful. I'd prefer it though if you stop giving dates or make promises unless you're absolutely certain you can stick to them. All the best to you.

Live for an ideal and leave no place in the mind for anything else.

forgive me, but, if [illegal suite] is illegal then why would the dev delay adding foobar due to requiring permission from its dev?

Also, why is it illegal? Like many others it was based on asuite. But it's changed dramatically since.

Live for an ideal and leave no place in the mind for anything else.

John T. Haller's picture

Nearly all of the freeware and trademarked open source software already in the suite was added without permission. For years, a large number of their apps were actually packages but with our splash screens disabled, the GPL license files, source code, readme files, our bookmarks and other bits removed and the illegal suite's added to attempt to pass the apps off as their own.

To this day, he doesn't have permission to repackage many of the more-popular apps he includes. He's just small enough that most publishers have no idea and he flies under the radar. This is well-known and well-documented and has been reported on by industry press. When asked if he had permission to include all the software he did, he refused to answer the questions. As the entire project is founded on illegal and shady activities, we don't permit links to or discussions of it here.

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

Ok. Thanks John i never realised. Thing is from a users perspective there's no way of knowing. I mean, are we supposed to check the legality of every site we visit or d/l we make?

Can i just ask, its the apps that are illegal not the platform? If so then all he needs is permission to add them? Am i right? I understand he's p****d alot of people off but if hes willing and able to rectify this then surely he can be forgiven?

Live for an ideal and leave no place in the mind for anything else.

John T. Haller's picture

It's more complicated than that as there are portions of his current package which appear based on our code as well (which is illegal as his package is not GPLed and he is no longer legally able to make use of our code or binaries in any way due to having his GPL rights rescinded for previous violations). As he's shown no interest in rectifying any of the illegal activities he's engaged in previously, I don't think it really matters one way or another. From a user's perspective, I could never imagine myself using software from a developer like that as who knows what other nefarious stuff could be going on. We should probably make a greater effort to let users and software publishers know who they're dealing with, though.

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

Right now it would be best i would think to get the bugs in the platform itself worked out (and the upgrade from B5 to PR1 being a bit funky is minor if it does update the platform properly).

Keepeth thy yawnings to thine bed.

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!?

I think this blog shows the extremes between 'loyal following' and 'disappointed users'. Back in early May I was waiting with bated breath at the imminent release of 2.0, but it never happened. As the weeks went by, I just gave up coming around to the site that often.

I'd go along with a few of the comments in this blog about disappointment caused by no release. My old gran used to say "don't make promises if you can't keep them". Perceptions are shaped by events and I'm probably not the only one that looks at PA.c and thinks - will it ever get there? It just takes the shine off things.

There's also been discussion about that other [Illegal] platform from Europe. OK, perhaps the use of apps has been questionable, but just focusing on the platform, it has everything that PA is still striving to achieve - categories, automatic updates and the like. Their platform can't be illegal surely? Certainly for a while I was using that platform as a launcher of PA.c apps. If that European platform is legal and the PA.c apps are legal, where's the issue with that hybrid use? But for sure, when 2.0 Final is eventually out there, I'll be using it along with everyone else.

Don't work yourself into the ground John. It's not about broken promises, but more a case of better managing expectations. Hopefully the finishing post is not too far away. All the best with that.

Cambridge, UK

I've said it several times and been threatened by the object of my disdain as a result. I'll say no more or else risk getting that "third and final warning" I hear so much about.

Just do a search on this page for my name and, well, 'nuff said.


Hmmm... John posted a reply comment here last night at about 10:30 pm EST and I read it just a minute or two after he posted it, but it's gone now...

I read the post, and I think he realized that he was under no obligation to reply to the same old tired complaints.
Personally, I think it's high time we just ignored all the carping whiners who only post to complain that their free software is taking too long. Do any of them actually contribute in any other way besides bumping their gripes to the top?

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

Personally I think people have every right to whine or complain,even if the platform is free.

John is the one who has been promising the platform update since before Christmas.
If it was nearly ready for Christmas how come it's still not ready now 6 months later.

If John can take the praise when he gets things done he should be man enough to take the complaints when he consistently fails to deliver as promised.

Like GrahamG's gran used to say " Don't make promises you can't keep "

I've been first to say "thank you" for the updates when we've got them and also think John and all of the volunteers, etc have done a great job in many ways. However, I've also been quite willing to be critical and point out the problems.

Yes, everyone has a right to their opinion even if the platform is free. As I've said before, business is tough and you aren't going to be cut much, if any, slack just because the platform is free. Show consistent incompetence, tarnish your reputation, etc and your business can not only fail, it is perhaps guaranteed not to flourish, outright fail or not.

John "made his bed" and created the problems. And yes, one needs to be a good winner and a good loser. Along with the praise for good things comes criticism for the problems.

How many months can you have just a few more bugs?

Also notice John hasn't just owned up to the fact that his PROMISE of weekly updates wasn't going to be do-able and just done the right thing to officially suspend them. No, they just slowly went away.

The most disappointing issue is that you simply cannot trust much of what John says when it comes to the status of the platform or where things are in general. Based on track record, why should I?

And don't think that I fail to understand that finances is a VERY REAL issue in all of this. Sure it is. Surely John has known of this even if he didn't know how fast the finances might change.

One thing we all need to remember is that many engineers and tech people are NOT good or natural businessmen and vice versa. Trying to wear both the developer/tech hat and business/entrepreneur hat is NOT easy. But again, the business world is not forgiving and you don't get a free pass just because what you offer is free, you're trying hard, etc.

Most people care about what you do more than what you say. Under-promise and over-deliver is ALWAYS the way to go, but biting your tongue and saying just enough is the hard part.

And everything I am saying here I am trying to practice myself... one finger points at John, but three point back at me.