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Not finding apps in subdirectories

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Everywhere
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Not finding apps in subdirectories

Hello,

I have my apps installed in subdirectories for example:

\PortableApps\Internet\FirefoxPortable
\PortableApps\Office\ThunderbirdPortable
etc.

However StartPortableApps.exe can't find them. Is it possible to make StartPortableApps.exe aware of apps in subdirectories? And better yet list them in a sub-menu relating to the directory?

Thanks.

John T. Haller
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Unsupported

Subdirectories are unsupported and, honestly, unnecessary.

Categories (aka folders) in the menu itself are coming in an upcoming beta. They are done automatically based on the app's category (as listed on PA.c) and you can also customize them, create your own, move them around, etc. No need for the apps themselves to be in different directories.

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

Everywhere
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Subdirectories are used just

Subdirectories are used just like categories - an organisational tool. I'm just trying to replicate the menu structure in a folder structure.

Not sure how you can deem one as unnecessary, while supporting the other, since they are the same thing just in a different form.

Seems a bit odd that the software is unable to check subdirectories. Is it to limit the number of exe files that are found and listed?

John T. Haller
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Quite Different

Categories (aka folders or directories) in the menu are useful if you've got lots of apps and want to organize them efficiently. Since you interact with it every day, it's useful.

Most users will never browser into their X:\PortableApps directory. And, even if you need to, it won't be often.

Currently, everything is keyed on the AppID within the PortableApps directory for installations, upgrades, apps that automatically work together (see WinSCP Portable and PuTTY Portable), the PA.c Updater and the menu itself. Rewriting it all would be in the cards if it were for getting categories/folders in the menu, but as there's no need to go into X:\PortableApps and browse around on a regular basis, you actually wind up spending more time thinking about organizing it than it would save you on being able to browse into it lately. And, if you were to then move something around in those sub-directories, it would break your renaming, favorite settings and (soon) file associations, etc with the app in the platform as well.

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

Darkbee
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Virtualization is King

In the past I would have agreed with you (as a hardcore folder organizer), but I've been giving this some serious thought lately and I honestly can't come up with a good justification for maintaining my apps in categorized folders. The argument that it makes finding particular applications easier is in truth false, because if all your apps are named correctly, it doesn't make a difference if you have a list of 10 or 100 apps, finding the exact app you're after should be easy. Plus, how often do you honestly browse your portable apps folders versus using some sort of launcher application?

So, I'm coming around to John's way of thinking in that it's better to create the organizational structure at a virtual level since this can be changed on a whim, whereas changing at the physical (folder) level could potentially break things and just gets plain messy.

EDIT: Case in point, I used to have Notepad++ in a "Utilities" folder but created a "Development" folder because it made more sense, and it was a royal pain to make sure I'd updated all necessary references. If the structure was only virtual, then it would have taken seconds versus several minutes.

Pyromaniac
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I disagree

kinda

I mean, its a pain, as I add more and more portable apps to my flash drive, it gets worse. For example, sometimes I have to first launch an app all the way at the bottom of the endless list of apps, then remember "oh, I forgot I need this, too" and have to scroll all the way back up to open the app, and sometimes remember I forgot to launch another app all the way at the bottom of the menu, and by the end of the whole ordeal, my finger is sore (well not really, but it is a pain).

I think categories *could* help, but I know I personally would benefit more from typing the letter of the name of the app and then just launching it (like e for eclipse, then it gets highlighted, then m for mozilla firefox) or, even more advanced, you start typing the whole name and it gets highlighted.

I mean, I guess it use to be easy to just scroll down and look for your app in alphabetical order--but to a point. Then it becomes a pain (I know I'm probably one of the people on this website with the most portable apps, so it won't really affect many people other then me, but hey, it would be nice to have).

Smile

John T. Haller
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We're Talking File System Folders

We're talking about physical folders within the PortableApps directory and then folders under there that the apps are installed to.

We're already going to have categories/folders in the menu as well as search in upcoming releases. We all already know about these and we're not debating the merits of them any longer. Blum

Until then, your favorite apps should be favorited, in which case they wind up at the top of the list. It's doubtful you use more than 20 apps every day, so you'll hardly ever have to scroll.

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

cbj0129
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All this talk about...

how great categories are going to be reminds me of the story about the man setting at the foot of the bed telling his new bride how great it was going to be, but never getting around to it. How about less talk and more doing?

Clair

John T. Haller
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When It's Done

With respect, "How about less talk and more doing?" concerning a piece of software you get for free from people developing it for free is a bit... off.

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

cbj0129
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With great respect...

I don't think this has much to do with software being free or paid. It is how constructive criticism is handled. As a former software development supervisor who hired, fired and appraised performance, I can assure you that attitudes carry over between personal and corporate life. This site has great public visibility for anyone wanting to hire someone as a developer or in search of a corporate partner.

With free software, developed in one's private (spare) time, it is fair to say "I am very busy and the software will be delayed" or "I am having design issues". If I were in the Corporate world looking to hire or partner those answers would be acceptable. A response of "... your getting it for free, stop complaining" would give me second thoughts about any relationship". It tells me something about that persons general attitude towards others.

My comment "How about less talk and more doing?" was designed to get your attention and it worked. I have been around here for a number of years observing you and the other developers. In general, I have been very impressed, but the "your getting it for free" responses leave me cold. I would prefer to hear "we are stalled due to lack of free time, please be patient", but then disengage from long discussions and design, code or test. You have provided a wonderful example to many young developers and those who would be developer. Your ethics are outstanding. Please take my criticism as meant to be constructive.

Clair

John T. Haller
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Opinion

While you are entitled to your opinion, I disagree. You could just as easily say "you suck" to get someone's attention (I'm not implying you said that, of course). Just because it works, doesn't justify it.

When someone is developing something for you that they give you free and aren't being paid to write, you don't have any claim - morally, professionally or ethically - over their time. That's a simple fact. And anytime someone feels like they have the right to tell me to do something (not ask or inquire... tell), it makes me never want to write free software again. Granted, I'm not going down that road as I've got quite a bit thicker skin than that. But, quite a few folks who have run open source projects have felt the same and many have quit over it. Others have shutdown or ignored public forums or only had development discussions in private email lists to avoid public input. Pidgin 'went dark' for years with developers ignoring forums due to constant user demands (not requests, demands) and disrespect.

The bottom line is that you are entitled to your opinion on how a project should be run, and you are also entitled to contribute to it, but you are not entitled to my time or to dictate how I choose to spend it. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but that's the way I see things.

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

Pyromaniac
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well

if I made my favorite apps favorited, then that wouldn't work because all my apps are my favorite Blum

I see now though, about the folders inside \PortableApps, yeah, no. I think that's pointless, for any user, when you can simply press "F" and FirefoxPortable highlights, why have to open a folder called "Internet" and then find FirefoxPortable...

depp.jones
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Character navigation!

That concept being transferred to the PortableApps menu would be my greatest wish for upcoming releases. I agree that folders become obsolete the more apps are installed. With more than 100 my list is really long and if I should find them hidden in some folders or even subfolders - no way.

I really plead for character based navigation, preferably like in windows folders (e.g. typing the first few letters fast enough to jump to the corresponding entry => "sys" to System... without the need to choose e special gui-element). Search fields do the job, too, but I really don't like (use) them as I have to click a field - one or two steps to much to be usable.

Yours,
dj

-edit-
sorry, I missed your previous post where you describe what I mean in better words. Wink

Ken Herbert
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To support sub-directories....

To support sub-directories the platform would have to support multiple nested sub-directories, and the effects of that would be bad, mainly in that the scan on start-up and adding or removing apps would take significantly longer, and when you already have a few gig worth of apps it can take long enough already.

Limiting the number of exe's that appear in the menu is also another issue. To recursively check every sub-directory and not have both ProgramX.exe and ProgramXPortable.exe show up in the menu would need more logic, and would also slow down the search somewhat.

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