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Apps that run on multiple platforms

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qforce
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Apps that run on multiple platforms

Hello,

I'm the admin of DocFetcher, a desktop-search app written in Java. Currently, we have a portable version which is capable of running on both Windows and Linux, provided that a Java Runtime is installed. On Windows, the program is launched with an Exe, on Linux with a shell script.

We'd like to make this portable version Portable Apps compatible. However, after having skimmed the docs, I have the impression that Portable Apps are generally Windows-only. Is this correct? And if so, are there any plans to support programs that run on multiple platforms, especially Java programs?

Best regards
q:-)

dinosoep
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you can run it on linux with

you can run it on linux with wine and there is no good java support
a shame!

John T. Haller
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Windows

Hi gforce. We are indeed focused on Windows as nearly all the PCs you encounter while you are out and about will be Windows PCs (school, work, hotel business center, library, net cafe, local coffee shop, etc). As such, we use an easy-to-use installer for our apps which is easier and much more functional than ZIP files. We do ensure that our platform, installer, launchers and all our other utilities work properly with Wine under Linux (we even do special coding to enable some of that), though, as this is a nice option for users with an Ubuntu box at home that they'd like to be able to use and configure their PA.c drive on.

So, yes, at the moment, apps in PortableApps.com Format are indeed Windows only. In the future, we will be supporting multiple platforms, but a large percentage of people will be opting out of that since it triples the size of all apps and most users only use Windows.

But it would still make sense to provide your app in PA.c format. In PA.c format, it can use the Java Portable instance that users install onto their sticks using our automated installer as well (it installs without admin rights and then all your portable Java apps run on any PC even if it has no JVM, OpenOffice.org Portable is already using it). We'll be having all our Java apps sharing this same Java runtime, all without any manual configuration or copying of files at all on a user's part.

Plus, once you're in PA.c Format and have been tested to ensure your app doesn't leave anything behind, you can get listed on our site and exposed to our millions of users.

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

qforce
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Thanks

Thank you for the comprehensive answer. Making a Windows-only Portable Apps version seems like a good idea after all. I'll come back when I have more time.

qforce
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Add Linux script in root folder?

After having had a closer look, I think all it takes to make a Portable Apps version of my program run on Windows as well as on Linux is to add a Linux shell script to the root folder of the PA package. So there would be a DocFetcher.sh right next to the DocFetcherPortable.exe. Is this possible, technically and otherwise?

Chris Morgan
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PortableApps.com Format

Currently the PortableApps.com Format will only include help.html and *.exe in the root directory. So if you create DocFetcherPortable.sh it won't be included when you bundle it up with the PortableApps.com Installer.

There is also the issue of your file format; on a Linux system, you can't absolutely guarantee that the client will have /bin/sh. I haven't yet investigated all the ins and outs that would be needed for generic Linux portable applications, but I may do so at some time, being a Linux man now. If we do support cross-platform applications at PortableApps.com (beyond [dar]wine), I would expect applications to have downloads for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, each containing the binaries for that platform (for Java applications this could be as simple as just the launcher, for others it will be the entire application).

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

KOS-tas
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great App, hope be PA

great App, hope be PA portable app Smile

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