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Modify PortableApps installer to allow for installation to multiple directories

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Panarchy
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Modify PortableApps installer to allow for installation to multiple directories

Hello

Please modify the PortableApps installer in order to allow installation to multiple directories.

This would be helpful if you were installing to different directories, or different USB drives.

Please add this feature!!!

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy

Zach Thibeau
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double click the paf.exe

double click the paf.exe installer and click the browse button to modify the install directory simple as that, and Shock no modifications needed Smile

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

Chris Morgan
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Also please don't double post

You posted a new thread and a comment in the installer thread. Just do one.

See my comment for an answer ("No").

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

Panarchy
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Hello Why wouldn't this be

Hello

Why wouldn't this be possible?

Normal installers can install to multiple directories, why not the PortableApps installer?

Hang on a second, can the Installer also install into sub-directories?

Please tell me if it can.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy

Bruce Pascoe
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Okay, now I'm confused

What exactly are you asking for? I thought you were asking to be able to select multiple directories in the install wizard, but now I get the feeling that's not what you mean...

Edit: Oh, and stop posting in both threads. One instance of a conversation is sufficient.

Panarchy
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Yes and Yes

That is what I mean

What I first gave was just an example.

If the last thing I mentioned (being able to install into subdirectories and surdirectories using PortableApps installer) is possible, then it'd be simple [in the extreme] to adapt (script) the installer to copy across to two different drives.

So, is it possible to use PortableApps to install to multiple directories, &/or extract to multiple subdirectories?

And can the PortableApps installer be made to use Environmental variables (eg %systemdrive%) for the default install location?

Please answer as many of my questions as you can.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy

Chris Morgan
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NO!

As I have said, it cannot be done. Full stop. Or period if you happen to be an American. It is not simple (let alone "in the extreme"!) to make it copy to multiple locations. It just can't be done properly.

This it a technical impossibility, and anyway practically no one would use it. If you want it, run the installer twice. And really, why are you wanting it at all?

No, it cannot use environment variables to change the install location - why would you want to? What it does do is find a PortableApps.com installation. When it finds that, it stops there. Simple.

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

solanus
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Are you talking about

1) installing to more than one directory all at the same time, or
2) are you asking if you can install to a different directory than the default, or
3)are you asking if you can install to more than one different directory, by running the installer once for each new location?

because I've never seen an installer do #1.

But the PortableApps Platform installer can do #2 and #3.

Also, once you've installed it, you could just copy the whole thing to anywhere you want, and it will run fine.

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

Panarchy
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I've seen installers capable

I've seen installers capable of doing #1.

Such as NSIS, InstallSheild etc.

Think about it differently. Think 'extract to multiple directories'

Please consider enhancing the PortableApps installer to include this feature.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy

Zach Thibeau
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probably in your dreams, you

probably in your dreams, you can only install to 1 directory at a time, this is limitation to both installers and windows operating systems

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

NathanJ79
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Why vs. How

The how of this should be a no-brainer. I would have thought it would be possible but I must defer to those who deal with the installers under the hood; if they say it can't be done, I guess it can't be. However, you could always just run the installer twice.

I get the feeling that the how isn't the real issue, though; it's the why. Why would somebody want to install to two places? Well, for non-portable stuff, it's stupid - the programs will conflict with one another. Portable software behaves better, so that roadblock is down. Toss in the "one user per device" mentality and it starts to make sense. At home I have two Portable Firefox installations on my external hard drive, and I've got a third one on my USB stick. I have two installations of Pidgin on both drives. While, for both, I simply installed twice, it remains true that installing once to both places would have made more sense, in that case.

At some point, some PortableApps.com installer is going to have this feature, in some respect. I mean, if they're going to sell USB flash drives with PA.c software pre-loaded at some point in the near future, what's the fastest way to load up all those drives? Once I saw a desktop tower with 25 USB ports on the front. A big ugly 5x5 grid. Can you imagine? If something like that - or bigger - exists, it's not too hard to imagine a super-powered Suite installer loading up 25+ drives at the same time.

Or maybe there's an even more efficient way to do this. I'm real curious as to what the TC wants to do.

Panarchy
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Hmm... I guess I truly

Hmm...

I guess I truly haven't been explaining it right.

Step 1: Download installer
Step 2: Double-Click
Step 3: Have TWO (or more) default locations
Step 4: (Maybe a radio button to choose how many locations)
Step 5: Next
Step 6: Finished

Don't know if those above listing help... I'll try again!;

1. Extract to Directory 1...
2. Extract to Directory 2...
3. Extract to Directory 3...
4. Extract to SubDirectory 1...
5,6,7,8. etc...

Now do you understand what I am trying to describe?

EspaÑaks
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Easier

Step 1: Download installer
Step 2: Double-Click
Step 3: Next
Step 4: Double-Click
Step 5: Next
Step 6: Finished

Eiñ??? A siñature????

solanus
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Still not seeing that much advantage

Still not seeing that much advantage for the individual user, enough to justify modifying the installer.

While I have multiple suites on different devices - my home system hard drive, my work system hard drive, and a couple of sticks - and while they all have the PAP, they have different collections of apps.
It was not that much effort to install on each one. And I usually don't have them all plugged into the same system to do a simultaneous install, anyway.

Also, unless you have quite a good computer, I would think that the installation to more than 2 or 3 different locations simultaneously would start to max out the resources. It might even take longer than it would to run the installer multiple times.

But hey, maybe you want to create 6 identical sticks at the same time.
Wouldn't it just be easier just to set up a single install with all the apps you want, do any tweaks to app settings, add plugins, etc.... and then use a batch file to serially copy this whole thing to all your other sticks?
That would be REALLY easy to do, and would require nothing more from the PA team. (I'm kinda hoping they spend more of their time on improving functionality, with categories, pinning fav apps, themes, etc).

The batch file could be as simple as this:

xcopy d:\*.* e:\ /E /H
xcopy d:\*.* f:\ /E /H
xcopy d:\*.* g:\ /E /H
xcopy d:\*.* h:\ /E /H
xcopy d:\*.* i:\ /E /H

Unless I'm wrong, the current PAP installer is nothing more than a fancy self-extractor. I mean, it's not putting anything into the registry, or user folders, it's just unzipping the files. So there's no reason you can't just install once, and copy many.

As for production for sale of pre-loaded USB sticks:
There are plenty of dedicated USB Flash Drive Duplicator devices out there that can do the job more efficiently than using an installer that targets multiple devices - like this one:
Google Product Search for USB Flash Drive Copy
I figure if JTH is going to be selling them, he'll either farm the production out to a 3rd party with the proper equipment, or make the investment for a doohicky like this.

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

John T. Haller
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No

We will not be building this feature into the PortableApps.com Installer. We base our installer on NSIS. And NSIS does not support this feature. It is built for installation to a single directory. We would have to rebuild pieces of NSIS itself to accomplish this.

Multiple directory installs isn't useful for most users. Most users use a single drive. Or at least a single drive at a time. If you want to install it to more than one, just run it twice.

As for people doing pre-loads, our partners create an image of all the apps they want and then copy that to all their drives. They don't manually run an installer on all drives.

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

Panarchy
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NSIS Supports

NSIS Supports this.

(installation of program into more than one place, sequentially)

Zach Thibeau
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Thats where you are wrong, I

Thats where you are wrong, I have never ever seen nsis do what you are suggesting, so if you can provide examples of nsis doing this then by all means show us, if not please stop what you are doing.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

John T. Haller
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Where?

I've used lots of NSIS-based installers (like OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Winamp) and I've never seen the option you speak of.

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

solanus
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Well, the source code for the installers

Well, the source code for the installers here are all open, so if you are skilled with NSIS and are willing to put in the time, you could just recompile the launchers to do what you want for yourself.

Personally, I'd rather NOT see this added to the installers:

The platform installer is the only one that I ever need to actually choose the directory on.
For all the other apps, the installer automatically installs the app into the correct location relative to the platform installation location.

If you add in a step in the platform installer to choose multiple directories, that might just be adding another step in the install process.
But if you add it into the other installers, it could end up being really extraneous, and could possibly mess with them installing automatically.
On top of that, a very popular app called PortableApps Updater uses scripts to download and install updates to your portable apps, and it takes advantage of the intrinsic ability of the installers to automatically install into the correct locations. I'd think that adding a step to choose multiple directories could break that, too.

It really seems like too much additional work for the already overworked volunteer developers, for what could be a minor convenience to a few people, and a minor to major inconvenience to others.

It seems that you are experienced in NSIS. So, you could rework and recompile the installers yourself... or maybe you could write a script that is an "installer installer", and add in multiple directory selection step into that!

Good luck.

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

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