It's time for another 'PortableApps.com Status Update' on what's new in the last week. We've got the big Firefox 4.0 update, LibreOffice 3.3.2 with performance improvements and new languages, an update on the coming 2.0 platform release and some final translations we'll be asking for next week, and more. Read on for the details
Another 21 New Apps in 21 Days
In the last 21 days we've released another 21 new portable apps, making for 121 new apps in 121 days. We've had lots of different games, a barcode generator, window management enhancement, file explorer utilities, a touch typing tutor and more. Keep watching the New Apps Tracker for each new app.
Today's and tomorrow's new apps may be delayed until Sunday or so due to travel and the associated internet connectivity issues that go along with it. But we'll get them out then and then continue doing a new one every day.
Firefox 4 Release
The Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 4.0 Release went off without a hitch. It's one of the most ambitious updates to Firefox to date. We've been working with Mozilla on Firefox portably since 0.8+ (7 years ago, the first 'portable app') and this has been a very good update by any measure. We've been tracking the numbers and Firefox Portable accounts for around 1% of Firefox downloads even with the huge increase in Firefox's popularity over the years.
LibreOffice Portable 3.3.2
After a big update to the launcher, LibreOffice Portable 3.3.2 was released by PortableApps.com and The Document Foundation. It's now more portable, even faster, supports all languages that LibreOffice supports and installs in even less space than before thanks to our new installer option to remove extra language. If you haven't given LibreOffice a try yet, now is the time!
Lots of App Updates
If you've been following along the homepage, RSS feed or Twitter feed, you've seen that this month resulted in a ton of app updates, taking more time than usual to keep them flowing. Happily, we kept up with the load and all the apps were updated soon after their local counterparts. And, as always, Platform 2.0 Beta users automatically got those updates downloaded and installed.
Drupal Upgrade Progress
Nothing new to report on this front other than we've been looking around at some Drupal consultants to help assist with the manual upgrade. I'm including the older update for continuity...
Some more progress has been made on the Drupal upgrade scripts. We may wind up hiring a Drupal expert to assist with the process, though, due to the complexity. We should know more at some point this week. As a reminder, Drupal is the content management system on which the site runs and it is in need of an upgrade to the latest major version release. However, the upgrade process is crashing without any useful errors or any indication of the issue. So, we'll be performing a manual upgrade from version 6 to 7. This will allow us better localization and allow us to implement our site redesign and new app directory.
We're ramping up for a fund-raising drive in association with the 2.0 release. We like the idea of a PortableApps.com store where you can buy t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, etc and have made some progress on that front with our designed. We're also looking into doing a branded drive just as a fundraiser. We don't want to do it long-term as we're not looking to compete with our upcoming hardware partnerships.
As mentioned before, bandwidth costs continue to grow and the need for additional hardware presents itself, the additional funds are definitely going to help. In terms of monthly unique visitors, we're closing in on the likes of BoingBoing, SlashDot and similar sites and the hosting costs are reflecting that. Currently, we're covering the additional overhead from personal funding sources.
We still plan to kick this off soon and will be providing more details at the time. We may do something similar to wikipedia's call for donations, though likely without my face looking sad on every page of the site. :) We're always looking for ideas and suggestions as well, so feel free to drop us a note to our developer contact address or post a note in the forums.
2.0 Platform Progress
After deciding on a later 1.9.0 release to ensure categories are finished in a close to final form and after discussing our versioning plan with some users and hardware partners, we've decided to call the planned 1.9.0 release 2.0 and ensure that all translations are complete for it. This will eliminate the confusion of having to explain to people that 1.9 is actually an update to 2.0 Beta 5 and having dual versioning included in the release itself. This won't alter the schedule of the 1.9.0 release other than to add next week as a translation week to ensure that the new menu and options screens are updated for at least most of our supported languages, since we will be considering this a stable release. We'll be posting the updated strings for translation on early to mid-week which will give our volunteer translators about a week's time to ensure that they're up to date and finalize any verbiage in our discussion forums.
This means that 2.0 will consist of the current 2.0 Beta 6 features, an update to the updater, categories, new app adding via the updater, fit and finish updates to the included themes, and fixes of all major bugs up to this point. This also means that we'll be pushing the 2.0 update out to our hardware and software partners wider than the original 1.9.0 plan. The feature set for 2.0 is complete and fans of folders will be happy to learn that categories are working as expected in our internal build now that the 2 last big blocking bugs have been fixed. There are still some minor fixes to complete in addition to ensuring translations and platform updating are working as expected, but nothing major or too time consuming.
In the vein of the Chrome and new Firefox release schedules, we'll be pushing out minor and major version updates on an updated schedule. Minor version updates will occur every week or two and major version updates will occur about every 2 months. So, once 2.0 is out, we'll see 2.1 and 2.2 adding in file associations, application shutdown and improved theming support in the coming weeks after that point. Now that the platform will have auto-updating included and automatic updating is nearly complete in the platform installer, updates won't be a big deal to users other than a couple MB download and a minute to install and restart the platform (at the user's leisure, of course, it won't be forced for a given session).
So, if you're a translator, please keep an eye on things on Monday or Tuesday to help finalize the strings for all our languages. And if you're a user, keep an eye out for the new platform release a week afterward. As things are basically already complete, we anticipate no interruptions to this planned schedule, but if anything does come up. I'll post about it immediately on the site. We'll be announcing both the translations and the release via our homepage, rss, twitter feed and facebook fan page. We'll also be doing a newsletter release in conjunction with the release, probably the same day or the day after depending on timing.
That's it for this update. Keep an eye on this blog for the next update and have a great weekend everybody!
Exciting things are afoot...