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Using Chris's Launcher

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LinkSlayer64
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Using Chris's Launcher

Hi I've been wondering if using Chris's launcher is still not supported, I'd like to put out some launchers and well, it's the easiest way for me to do it since I'd rather focus on learning another programming language right now (working on a game heh, I'm doing C# but I KNOW I should be doing C++ for portability and abscence of any needed .NET or any other dependencies that you need to install...it's just easier to use XNA studio, and I don't have a lot of time to program... I'm CRAZY!)

Anyway as I was saying, yeah, if I use Chris's launcher will it be kept from going official?
Thanks in adavanced

OliverK
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AFAIK, no. Apparently that's

AFAIK, no. Apparently that's the way everything is moving, though I will still develop apps the old fashioned way Biggrin

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
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Chris Morgan
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Coming

We're still waiting for the official PortableApps.com Universal Launcher, but while programs done with mine will not be instantly forwards-compatible, there aren't all that many changes and migration should be easy (if I get a chance to I'll write up a quick how-to to finish it all off).

I'm expecting the PortableApps.com Universal Launcher well before any new program would be getting to official release.

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

gluxon
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I hate Chris's Launcher

I hate Chris's Launcher Sad

Breaks the fun of programming Blum

Chris Morgan
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...

Why? You like to be envied for being able to do it, or something?

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

TaffinFoxcroft
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My two cents.

Chris, I would like to point out that this idea has been tried before, nor did it work those times. I can see it possibly working if its implemented properly, but it also takes the fun out of coding.
Would you like to know something? PortableApps.com is how I got involved in coding and computers in general, but it was by writing my own launchers and fixing bugs that kept me interested; not just editing some INI file. How are people supposed to be able to learn and study that? It's a lot more fun with a specific launcher.
If this pans out and works, I'll be pleasantly surprised... but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

But there’s no sense crying over every mistake,
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

John T. Haller
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Different

This is very different as all those required editing a code template and then compiling. This will allow you to handle standard registry keys (HKCU and HKLM), moving files in and out of APPDATA, moving files between App and Data within the app, automatically tracking last run path and drive letter, updating config files and .reg files for changes to drive letter and path and additional manual changes. All of that is accomplished via an INI file. And it doesn't need to be recompiled for each app to change the name and stuff because the PA.c Platform gets the name and icon for each app from App\AppInfo now, not from the launcher.

So, if executed properly, made a part of the official spec and updated regularly as we get new apps that need new stuff handled, it should work just fine and replace the need to have to edit lots of launchers when stuff changes (like Vista/7's user vs admin rights, or our new ReadINIStrWithDefault, etc).

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

gluxon
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Yeah... but do we have to

Yeah... but do we have to use it? Sad

John T. Haller
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Get It?

Don't you get it? It will make all of our work easier. We can work on a single launcher with all the features we need and continue to evolve that. Do you know how much work it is to verify the different launchers of every single app for every release and ensure they have the latest ReadINIStrWithDefault.nsh and other stuff?

Inventing the wheel over and over again for every single new app is a waste of time.

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

gluxon
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Yeah, but do we HAVE to

Yeah, but do we HAVE to use?

I understand it'll make life easier, but it also makes it boring Sad

John T. Haller
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Why Not

Why on earth would you reinvent the wheel over and over and put more work on all the testers and release checkers? I mean, honestly, there's NO need. It's wasted work. Doing a unique launcher for each app is just cut n paste coding anyway, so in the end you're not really learning anything. And when an app comes along that needs something new and unique, we work on it to add it into the launcher... doing the work one time.

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

OliverK
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Still not a answer. And its

Still not a answer.

And its fun to reinvent the wheel. Biggrin

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
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Don't wanna live my life in the real world

digitxp
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A Point

You have a point. But eventually, this would kill a lot of developers (most of which learned NSIS solely to make launchers) and the satisfaction of making an app portable is so much less. So if that path happens, our lives would become so easy that it's no longer satisfying (think of the fatties in WALL-E).
My suggestion would be to modularize it.

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OliverK
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I actually tried at one point

I actually tried at one point to make a ini based launcher. I was before Chris even.
But as I worked on Intellilaunch and portablized other apps I became less convinced on how well Intellilaunch would work.

And I'm not necessarily against a universal launcher. Shoot, I'd be willing to contribute code snippets (I've done it with other snippets in my blog). But I'm against making it a requirement to use the universal launcher.

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

Chris Morgan
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Different approach

I think that there's a crucial difference in the approach John and I have taken with the PortableApps.com Universal Launcher to how any other solution has worked; mine (becoming ours) is, as John says, INI-configured, with no coding at all. Yours was the closest in approach to mine, but even so it still lacked something how it's. But mine has much greater flexibility than any other approach (e.g. infinite number of registry, file, etc. things to handle, better variable replacement which is going to get even better since I just discovered ExpandEnvStrings last week while updating my NSIS syntax file for Vim, pretty simple syntax). I have used my launcher very successfully in creating portable applications quickly. And I mean quickly. I did Bazaar Explorer Portable a couple of weeks ago (Inkscape is moving to using Bazaar for version control now), in about two and a half hours, of which not more than half an hour was the actual launcher configuration (including looking through the Bazaar source code where I discovered its environment variable BZR_HOME); the only thing missing in it, the reason why I haven't released it, being that it is PyQt and leaves Qt registry stuff in the registry - but I'm going to make that easy to handle inside the launcher, providing what is in my opinion yet another compelling reason to use a universal launcher if possible. DropUpLoad - that one was very very simple, it wouldn't have taken long with NSIS, but it took even shorter with this. Under an hour from start to finish. Similar story with WinDjView, which uses the registry. Most applications can be done fairly simply with it. Some are more complex though, I will grant you that. I agree that we won't reasonably be able to make it an absolutely-everything launcher. But we can make it an almost-everything launcher.

Some applications will need to use a custom launcher, but we plan on making these exceptions as few as possible.

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

OliverK
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I've revamped mine to do

I've revamped mine to do similar. It wasn't hard. I didn't disregard it because I didn't think it wasn't flexible enough. I was coding the **** thing, I could make it do whatever I wanted. As I looked into more and more I disliked it for serious coding more and more.

Too many lonely hearts in the real world
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Don't wanna live my life in the real world

gluxon
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THANK you so much!!! Finally

THANK you so much!!!

Finally somebody who understands me Smile

gluxon
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No, it's cause when that dumb

No, it's cause when that dumb thing comes out, I have to delete all my hard work and use that Sad

John T. Haller
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Work on the launcher

You'll be able to help work on the launcher if I get off my butt and learn mercurial. No reason to re-invent the (and re-support a slightly new) wheel for every single app.

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

Mark Sikkema
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There would always be applications...

a launcher needs to do something out of the ordinary for !

An universal launcher could never deal with all these different 'problems' a coder would come across !

Or am I wrong ?

Formerly Gringoloco
Windows XP Pro sp3 x32

computerfreaker
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My 2c

I can see the logic behind a universal launcher - it will make portabilizing apps easier to do, make life easier on the beta testers, etc. It will probably also increase the productivity of PA.c - since each release will take less time to create, it'll be possible to create far more releases.

However, it will definitely take the fun out of the coding - the whole fun of it is doing it yourself, testing it, getting frustrated at the endless bugs that show up, and finally, one glorious day, having something ready to go. There's nothing else quite like it.
If we're required to use a universal launcher which will just have us editing INI files, that'll drain all the fun out of it - there's nothing dynamic, "living", if you will, to work on - just "dead" text files.

If the universal launcher becomes a requirement, I'll go with it - I just won't like it.

Just my 2c... (and btw, no matter what happens, PA.c still rules!!)

"The question I would like to know, is the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. All we know about it is that the Answer is Forty-two, which is a little aggravating."

Chris Morgan
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You're right

You're absolutely right about most of what you've said there. It will increase productivity, make our packages more consistent and thus easier to check, but I'm not sure I agree with you about taking the fun out of the coding. But then, I've had the fun of coding the thing to make "the coding" unnecessary Smile I think that it will make more people interested in making portable applications - and there are pros and cons to that. In the past, we've had many people wondering "how do I do it?" and some stay and try and work it out and succeed, some try and fail (continuing to ask questions which often seem pointless and simple to those of us with experience), some just give up. Now, though, it will be much more accessible which is good and bad. We'll be able to do more - but people that couldn't cope before may be more able to cope and more able to thus make a mess of things and have to ask in here. I thought about it quite a bit before starting and I decided that the good outweighed the bad. I think we'll probably get more people needing help with it - because now it may just be hard for them rather than utterly impossible.

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

digitxp
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Better Idea

I've had the fun of coding the thing to make "the coding" unnecessary

Codehog Blum

How about a dual-pronged approach--where the official apps are made of REAL NSIS, and then a make-your-own-app section, where we detail how to use the Universal Launcher. Then we can make up some stupid excuse for not using the Universal Launcher for our apps--say, the launchers don't work with the verified signatures :P.

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Chris Morgan
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No, no, no

You're missing the whole point. I hope that that was meant to be a joke.

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

LinkSlayer64
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No war

Ok I'm sorry for causing a war here, but also just my opinion...couldn't people who WANTED to make their own launchers do it? I mean, I just like it because it allows portability without too much work when I don't necessarily have the time. I'm not against learning NSIS, I just have other stuff I'm trying to learn.

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about Rock'n'Roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto

Chris Morgan
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Never mind :-)

This has always been a controversial subject. This isn't the first topic which has been hijacked by such a discussion on whether it's good, bad or indifferent.

But unless there is a very good reason to use your own custom launcher, you will not be doing it (officially anyhow). It makes maintenance much easier around the board, and also testing and bug fixing. (See John's comment and the responses to it for details.)

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

richo
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Just out of curiosity...

Just out of curiosity, what is the full list of current features. I think I know of a way to make this a little less controversial, but I'd like to not give an idea that has already been given.

Chris Morgan
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Get it

Just get Chris's PortableApps.com Launcher Test 5 and take a look at its help.html. Any new features of the official one will be announced when they're there.

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

gluxon
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Can we at least just have a

Can we at least just have a small unofficial vote? Smile

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