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Problem with Rawtherapee packaging

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ajax
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Problem with Rawtherapee packaging

I've been using Rawtherapee (RT) Portable but have encountered a problem that needs attention.

Apparently the developers of RT have decided to abandon|stabilize the 32bit version. It appears as though this has caused Portable Apps developers to distribute both the 32bit and 64bit versions as part of the same package, where the decision about which version to launch being controlled by the architecture of the computer on which it is being launched. The problem is that there are compatibility considerations between the 2 versions which affect which one the user would like to use. Possibly my problem is that I simply don't understand how a user of portableapps can choose which to launch.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE USER TO CHOOSE WHICH VERSION GETS LAUNCHED? IF SO HOW?
Even if this is possible the user needs to be made aware of the difference.

With that said the best approach would be to package them as separate apps. The reason is that someone, like myself, who is using the 32bit because the 64bit version doesn't work on their computer might, on some occasions, move to another computer that is 64bit to do some processing (i.e., this is the reason for liking to use portable apps). They would expect their work, on the 64bit version, to be compatible with work done on their usual computer and would often intend to transfer that work product back to the usual computer. This won't work in the case of the existing RT portable app. Furthermore, unless the user is very savvy they are very likely to be deceived. In that RT will appear to working fine but it won't tell them that the resulting work is NOT interchangeable with the work they've previously done with the 32bit version. In this scenario the user wants to continue using the 32bit version even when working on a 64bit computer which should work just fine. Another scenario would be transferring some work done on a 32bit computer for further processing to another computer that happens to be 64bit. RT would make it look like this is working and attempts to understand the processing profiles created by the older version of the software but the user cannot count on the 32bit work being accurately duplicated on the 64bit version. Another similar scenario would involve a user who normally works on a 64bit version who would not want to be similarly deceived when they find themselves on a 32bit computer. While they won't be able to work with the 64bit version on the 32bit computer this is what they should learn immediately if they should try and do so. In that before attempting to do any work. As mentioned above the work, done using the 32bit version, cannot be reliably moved back to a 64bit version even though the 64bit version may appear to work correctly when this happens.

Bottom line is that with RT the user needs to be in charge of what version is being used and it should not be something that is taken out of their control.

When it comes the possibility of finding a temporary workaround for this problem, it would be very helpful to know of the best way to disable one of the versions. IS THERE A RECOMMENDED WAY TO DO THAT?

John T. Haller
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32-bit warning

I think that perhaps having a warning when launching the 32-bit version that this version of the app is no longer maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues with the 64-bit version would serve our purposes. I could add a setting to disable it for people who use 32-bit only as well. Thoughts?

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ajax
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Regarding "32 bit warning"!!!

What you suggest sounds helpful.

However, it is important to be able to run the 32bit version on a 64bit computer. When you say "disable it" does "it" refer to the 64bit version. If so I think that would at least allow the 32bit version to be used on a 64bit computer but it should also remain possible to try the 64bit version having been advised that you should not expect to transfer the resulting work back to the 32bit version.

The whole concept of portability suggests that you don't always get to specify what machine architecture is going to be available. Since the 32bit version does, at least should, work on a 64bit computer this option needs to be available. Fortunately, it looks like RT is inherently pretty portable and I've been able to install the 32bit version on an old machine and copy the files to my thumb drive and it seems to be working but, I must admit, with limited usage/testing at this point in time.

Also, it looks like GIMP is going to be in the same situation. I think, the next stable release (2.10) is only going to offer 64bit but it will be a while before everybody is committed to these newer versions.

John T. Haller
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Older Version

Likely, we'll recommend the older release for people who switch machines a lot. The RawTherapee Portable 5.1-5.0 release should be cross compatible as those versions were quite similar.

Most people no longer use these apps on external drives moving between machines.

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ajax
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Older Version

Sounds like the right idea but doesn't that argue for 2 separate apps as opposed to the way it is now? This would let the user choose which to use in every circumstance. The warnings about 32bit stabilization and lack of portability should make it just right. Furthermore, the 32bit version will require no further maintenance other than something attributed to portable apps platform. Truth is that the portability problem is not really about 32 vs. 64 bit but rather is a natural consequence of software migration which is more acute in this case because the basic work product (i.e., processing profiles) are RT specific rather than conforming to some standard.

John T. Haller
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Depends How You Work

Many of my photo friends use RAW editors in a one-off way. Use it on a photo once and move on. The dual mode is ideal for this as it doesn't matter if a given file doesn't work on both.

Users who use 32-bit regularly should just stick with the old release which may have security bugs.

Users who mostly use 64-bit and occasionally use 32-bit will have it available in a pinch.

If its the settings that are incompatible, we can maintain separate settings for 32 vs 64 as well.

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

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