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PortableApps.com Launcher 2.1.1 release notes

This release is the first bug-fix release for the 2.1 line and incidentally the first bug-fix release for the PortableApps.com Launcher as a whole.

Three of these bugs are related to the already-starting detection which was added in version 2.1. There were a few cases where the technique used was not dealt with properly. In version 2.2, it is planned that the mechanism used to flag it as “starting” will be changed from INI storage to mutexes, which will be a lot more reliable and will not be able to get into the stuck state which is common with a couple of these bugs.

For more information about the 2.1 release, see PortableApps.com Launcher 2.1 release notes.

Development team

First of all, we have a new team member in the PortableApps.com Launcher development team: Aluísio Augusto Silva Gonçalves (known generally as kAlug). He started contributing shortly after the release of 2.1 and has done a number of the things on the 2.2 roadmap already, and has also identified and fixed some of the bugs found in this release while I have been busy doing mission work in India and so have had less time to spare on this than normal. The release of 2.1.1 would have taken quite a lot longer without him (and the delays have still been my fault, too). I thank kAlug for his contributions and am looking forward to further work with him. — Chris Morgan

Bugs fixed

Tertiary launches don’t work

One of the new features in 2.1 is detection of an already-starting instance of the portable app, which formerly could lead to data corruption. However, the “starting” flag was set for secondary launches, and so tertiary launches would fail to run while any instances were still running (depending slightly on the app configuration).

Further details are available in the bug report.

Runtime data file left behind on host machine for secondary launches

While investigating the bug mentioned above, another minor problem was found - a file runtimedata.ini was left behind in the plugin directory (which is a subdirectory with a name like nsXXXXXX in the user’s TEMP directory) for all secondary instances. This has been fixed now.

Live mode breaks after the first run on writeable medium

In subsequent investigations a third bug was found, related to the “starting” detection, in Live mode. If the source directory was writeable, the “starting” flag was set but never cleared, meaning that after the first run in Live mode the app would not start again without deleting the runtime data file manually. Now this does not break, though on a read-only medium the “starting” check won’t function at all until 2.2.

Flaws in automatic language switching in nested launchers

Previously, if an app not running from the PortableApps.com Platform launched another app, this other app would believe that the language had been set by the Platform, thus ignoring its own saved language, if any. The typical case for this is when an English-only app launches a multilingual app; formerly this would have ended up with the multilingual app being reset to English. To resolve this, when the PortableApps.com Platform is missing, a special environment variable is set to indicate the fact which will be picked up by nested launchers, so that they have the option of using the last language used (as defined by the [LanguageFile] section in launcher.ini).

Incompatibility between Live mode and [Launch]:WaitForProgram=false

Previously, when the developer had set [Launch]:WaitForProgram to false, and Live mode had been enabled, the launcher would just exit after running the app, without cleaning up. Now, the value of WaitForProgram is simply ignored.