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PA.c Platform Updater vs. Ninite

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NathanJ79
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PA.c Platform Updater vs. Ninite

Just wondering, is there a good reason the updater can't/doesn't work like Ninite? A lot of geeks know about Ninite now, and I think it's reasonable to expect that level of performance from a batch installer, so when the individual installers come up, one at a time... I mean, especially with big stuff like LibreOffice, you really should be able to set it, forget it, and come back to it being done.

Right?

John T. Haller
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They Don't

The individual installers don't come up one at a time except for a few very-outdated apps (Mines-Portable and Sudoku, for instance) that haven't but updated to current installers. All installers run totally silent unless they need to prompt for a decision that hasn't yet been made before (license agreement or optional add-on or language removal) and even then should run silent except for that page. On update, they simply use your selection from last time and remember you already agreed to the license agreement unless it has changed. At least that's the way it should work. If you rename the PortableApps.com directory to something else, it won't. Or did you notice another issue?

Ninite may be popular, but there are legal issues with it that will be tested at some point. Specifically the way it hides EULAs even when the installers provide no method to hide EULAs. As a project that only operates legally, you can be sure we're going to show the user the EULA when it is required. We are working on ways to simplify the process and streamline it in future releases, though.

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NathanJ79
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Definitely not silent

I updated LibreOffice to latest, Firefox to 6, Notepad++ to latest, and... I forget what else, but there were four of them. None were silent. All four went through all the screens.

I've got the latest platform beta and the default install/unpack location for the platform.

WRT Ninite, I agree, and I was wondering about that. Windows Update has a nice silent update that uses EULAs. Before any updating is even started, it shows you each EULA (if there is more than one) separately, and above, tells you what updates the EULA covers. It's very elegant, since you'd be sitting at the desk starting the update, it's just 1-3 (very rarely more than 2) clicks and then, from there, it's silent.

John T. Haller
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Platform Running

Is your install location at X:\PortableApps\PortableApps.com\PortableAppsPlatform.exe? Are you sure both the platform and the updater are running? If the platform is not running, the installers will not operate in silent mode. The next release of the platform will ensure the updater can't be launched sans platform to stop that occurring.

We're going to be shifting the EULA presentation to the start of the process in another update or two as well. The pieces are already in place in the individual installers for all the apps (we've been planning it for over a year to get ready).

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NathanJ79
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Platform wasn't running

That's it. I just ran the updater standalone.

IMHO you have it all backwards. My PortableApps drive is mostly useless at home. I don't need the menu at home. I update it with digital media and I use it on the go. For updating, I just dig in, grab the updater, and run it. Blocking that feature would be counterproductive. But that's the H in the acronym, it's just my humble opinion. Anyway, I'd rather just see the updater invoke the silent option regardless of whether the platform is running or not.

John T. Haller
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Tied Together

The PortableAppsUpdater.exe which handles updating and the app directory is meant to be used with the platform. It gets all settings including language from the platform and will soon add settings for whether to show advanced apps (think Firefox and Chrome betas) in the lists, whether or not to install additional languages when in English so you can switch later, whether to present additional options screens or automate them, etc. All those will be options present in the platform that feed into the updater. That's why we think of them as tied.

The hundreds of app installers are keyed to look for the platform running, not the updater. The reason is that they support the silent and automated modes in conjunction with the platform (the Install a New App option, for example). And, in an upcoming release, the updater will no longer be a separate EXE. It will just be a part of the PortableAppsPlatform.exe. That's why the installers are keyed to that instead of the updater. Otherwise we'd have to go back and update them all in conjunction with that platform update.

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NathanJ79
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Okay

Okay, I see what you're saying. Not that it's a problem to open the platform, I just think there should be a way to externally manage a PortableApps drive from a home "base". Maybe some tool that is installed on my home computer that does all this with one click. And when I connect the drive, it shows up as an autoplay option, e.g. maintain this PortableApps drive. Check for updates, run the disk check, things like this. But that may be outside the scope of PortableApps.com and run contrary to the seemingly simple nature of the platform.

John T. Haller
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Possible Option

That could be an option when run from our autostart utility when it's finally updated. Then you could have maybe an advanced option that just let you do that.

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NathanJ79
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Listener?

Is this the listener that would be installed (as opposed to portable) on a host PC that would automatically launch the Platform when you connect a drive, or something else?

If it's the listener, I'd like to see it do a mock Autorun type thing where you can launch the platform, explore, run backup/restore, or update the portable apps. Since it's something the user would choose to install, I wouldn't worry about the user mistaking it for a real autorun, but that's just me.

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