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PortableApps.com Update (Week of Feb 4, 2008)

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John T. Haller
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PortableApps.com Update (Week of Feb 4, 2008)

Superseded by new update here:
https://portableapps.com/node/11606

Greetings all! Welcome to another summary of what's going on in the world of PortableApps.com. Please help yourself to punch and pie in the back of the room.

Updating Current Portable Apps (In Progress)

As promised, we got 5 updated apps out last week - Sumatra PDF, 7-Zip, PokerTH, Virtual Magnifying Glass and VLC - all updated to the latest versions with new installers, digital signatures, etc. This week, we'll be posting updates to Pidgin, GIMP and Notepad++. FileZilla should be in there as well. And Steve has an update to Toucan that's being packaged for release. GIMP and Pidgin will probably see short pre-releases as they've both slightly changed the way they handle GTK and portability.

Additionally, a new revision of OpenOffice.org is being posted due to corruption in the included python scripts. I'll be working through Sunday to get all these done, so if they're not up by Friday, fear not.

After that, it's just a matter of re-releasing the other apps that don't need version bumps (AbiWord, Command Prompt, etc) so they're using the latest installers, new branding, digital signatures, etc. And then we're all caught up on the app front.

Development Test Releases (In Progress)

I'd like to get 3 or 4 of the development test releases that were posted as ready in last week's update out this week and next (that sounds do-able, right?). If your app is posted in the other topic, you're good and we'll get to it. If not, please post it here, whether you're willing to support it ongoing, etc. And here are the guidelines again for those interested:

  1. Compile the new Development Test Splash Screen into your launcher
  2. Follow the current PortableApps.com Format spec 0.9.8 (as used in the current KompoZer Portable). This includes the AppInfo directory and the required files within there. Having an appicon.ico with 256 color and XP alpha in 16px, 32px and 48px sizes. And the other details of the PortableApps.com Format (see below)
  3. Use the current PortableApps.com installer with the PortableApps.com branded bannder 0.9.9.0 as used in the latest KompoZer Portable (the Mozilla apps are different) being sure to only alter code within the ";=== BEGIN: PRE-INSTALL CODE" style comments
  4. Doing a new release titled "Development Test 1" or appropriate number. The installer should follow the standard naming convention of App_Portable_1.2_Development_Test_1_en-us.paf.exe

PortableApps.com Format (First Draft Later This Week, For Reals)

Now that I'm done with jury duty (see below), I'll be getting out the first draft spec and posting in the forums for comments.

PortableApps.com Platform

Now that I've got more time, I'll be posting the next beta of the 1.1 release. The alpha of 1.5 will be coming after that.

Registered Trademarks Granted

PortableApps.com and "Your Digital Live Anywhere" are now registered trademarks. The trademarks cover usage in software, digital media, newsletters and more. This is a good step forward in working with companies and getting the platform financially independent.

Development Licensing Progress

I'm sending out the email tomorrow to the developers coming on board regarding licensing that I was hoping to get out last week.

Tempering Responses (aka Friendly Attitude Adjustment)

I'd made a post entitled Tempering Responses (aka Being Nice to Users, New and Old) at the end of last week. This was based on an email exchange I had with a longtime user whose opinion I value and what he and I both saw as some issues with the overall attitude towards some new users, users of differing opinions, etc. I know I've been guilty of it here and there as well. So, I'm asking people to remember the responsibility we have to keep an open and patient attitude with all comers as this will be most folks first exposure to portable software and it will be many folks first exposure to open source and the type of online community that surrounds it.

Time Constraints Freed Up

I thought I'd posted, but it looks like I forgot last week. I'm done with jury duty. The accused plead guilty, so we got to go. I still wound up with a lot of catch up work in terms of work work due to being stuck in jury duty the whole week before (and being out of state 3 weekends in a row). I did some catchup work this past weekend as well.

Ok, that should be everything. Sorry this is a couple days late. The flow of releases begins tomorrow.

Kind Regards,
John

ZachHudock
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Thanks for the update

Thanks for the update John.

I believe my PeaZip Portable Development Test is ready to go. I'm willing to support this one ongoing. I made a high res PeaZip logo to be used for the splash if this does become official.

Also, could you post or send me the NSISPortable that you were working on but never completed, and mentioned here? I'd like to compare/combine our work and get a finalized package out. I'll support this one once it is complete, if needed.

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

powerjuce
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thanks for updating

i have Hugin Portable pretty much ready and i am willing to support it

One question:
If our app is on the Dev Test page, can we start to make an actual splash screen for it?
thanks

Please search before posting. ~Thanks

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mkay

Congrats on the whole PortableApps®™ thing. Smile

Regarding icons...I just reuse whatever the application I'm portabalizing gives me. If one type is missing, oh well. I can barely draw stick figures so doing icons or whatever is out of the question. You guys have seen my MSPaint skillz in some of my splash screens. Truly horrendous.

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stone1343
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PortableApps.com and "Your Digital Live Anywhere" are now regist

You should've trademarked "Your Personal Life Anywhere"

Wink Sorry, couldn't resist. I can't sleep, digital cable and internet are down, and I'm using my neighbour's wireless.

Seriously, though, very cool.

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Great

PDFTK Builder 3.2 is another App I did last week and I think its ready too. Its pretty easy as it has no settings to save so I think its ready even if not so many people have tested it.

I'm looking forward to Notepad and Pidgin Smile

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

nocr
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Just Curious

I was wondering if you could add the newest version of Miranda, (v0.7, at least), to your list of updates?

That would be fantastic, as the newest versions of many of the popular plug-ins no longer function with v0.68.

I'm sure you're an extremely busy person , and I totally understand if you do not have the time to do this right away. However, I thought it might be nice to place it higher up on the list of apps to release, since there is a new edition available.

Please Make TiLP Portable

John T. Haller
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It will be

It will be updated along with the others. It's just a lower priority than GIMP, Pidgin, FileZilla.

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

Simeon
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I think

PNotes could be released officially, too.
Lamer had a new version a while ago and if I recall correctly there were no problems.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

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I second that. PNotes

I second that. PNotes should be official. I made a high res logo to be used in a splash screen for that too.

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

Kevin Porter
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Stellarium

Just released Stellarium last night, if you didn't see. As far as I know, it is up-to-date on all the guidelines, requirements, etc. Let me know what you think. Great job getting PortableApps.com back in motion. Smile

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." - Rick Cook

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Applications Ready

Here's the applications I've tested and that I feel are ready (or very close to) release:

Zach did great on PeaZip Portable, his is perfect on being conformed to the latest PAF specs, so I think he's good to go.

Kevin's Stellerium Portable is good, and he's been working hard talking to the developers to get them to add in a settings switch so AppData isn't touched. Specs with the latest PAF are great.

Powerjuce's Frets On Fire Portable seems ready to go, the only problem with that was there's like 40 megs of data that is doubled from default data giving you 80 megs of data, 40 kinda useless. His is all perfect PAF too. Wink

GnuCash has got to be release. rayven01's been working very hard with that and been keeping it updated very well.

Simeon's AssaultCube Portable is working great, he did awesome getting everything perfect. Last check it seemed good to go.

Then there's my TaskCoach and BonkEnc Portable which have both had some decent testing, Zach H caught the registry entry created with Task Coach and that's good to go now, and nothing else was caught with BonkEnc.

Also, wraithdu's EDT is good to go as you know.

And I'll be looking into some of rab040ma's apps to see how they are (I'm sure great) and OliverK's FakeNES Portable.

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@ John

We respect the fact that you are busy, and continually working to update these apps, sorting out legal stuff, making new apps, and improving the PortableApps Platform and specifications.

However, we (those of us developing portable apps, or offering/actually making graphics) have offered countless times, and shared our work, and recieved NO response from you on it. And in rare cases, some of it gets acknowledged elsewhere, but after that single mention of it, nothing.

Ryan, Patrick, myself, and several others have spent time to learn the latest PAF specs, and learn the NSIS language and create portable packages following these specs. Ryan has it worse than all of us, he's been around for quite some time and the only app of his to become official was WinMerge. None of the original apps he worked on are here yet, and most of those were promised to become official. Patrick has created several apps and was promised that one would be released weeks ago, it hasn't been. I've created PeaZip Portable, and numerous high resolution graphics for you to improve splash screens/app pages, and offered to create other graphics if needed.

NeoRame and several others have also offered to help with graphics, and it seems like many of those were dead end promises. You said you would accept their help, then nothing came of it.

We (the community as a whole) were promised some progress, like updates (those are coming and take time, we understand) but also new apps from the beta testing forums becoming official (you promised 1 each day when you did your first PortableApps.com Update a few weeks ago) nothing has been added yet, even though there are quite a few packages that are complete except for an official splash screen. (If you need, I can put those together for you, except for the font that you use, and send you a PSD or PNG or whatever format you want it in). We'd really like to see the progress that we were promised.

If you have too much going on, give release privileges to some of the moderators (Ryan, Patrick...anybody really), that way the progress we were promised can continue, you won't feel stuck with insane amount of work, and the community won't get overworked and upset at the lack of progress.

Again, we appreciate all of your hard work on this site, probably not nearly enough since we dont know any of the behind-the-scenes stuff, and we respect that you need to have a real life as well. Thank you for everything you are doing here, but branch out, share the responsibility with some of the more experienced community members. At least give release privs and more complete mod privs to the current moderators. Anything will help.

Continuted progress will improve the image of PortableApps.com, but countless empty promises, and lack of progress will shy users away. Please take this all into consideration, and thank you again for all your efforts.

Respectfully,
-Zach Hudock

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

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He'd really have to trust

He'd really have to trust someone a lot to let them use his code-signing certificate...

MC

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oops, forgot about that

oops, forgot about that digital signature bit...still, something has to be done to move stuff along.

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

John T. Haller
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Actually

I'd said 1 new app each day... I meant 1 release, which I did. The other milestones weren't hit for the unexpected circumstances I mentioned (having to go in for jury duty wasn't expected... getting selected to sit on a jury wasn't either). I was forthcoming with those events as they occurred and they were quite beyond my control (unless I wanted a big fine and a few nights in jail on a contempt of court charge, of course).

As for the legal delays... without the legal framework in effect, all this work is for naught as, without it PortableApps.com can't survive longterm. We don't, unfortunately, have the millions of dollars that organizations like Mozilla had upfront to setup processes, hire staff and keep lawyers on retainer. Nor do we have a huge corporate parent organization to do the same like OpenOffice.org does. We only have what's been donated, the money from those Google ads in the lower left, and my own money and some I secured from friends and family.

As for privileges, multiple people already have complete moderation rights on this site (as in the ability to edit every single page) in addition to the forum-only mods (who can only edit comments due to permissions issues within the Drupal CMS software itself that I can't change). And multiple people have full release rights on SourceForge.net.

But, for an official stable release, it needs to be digitally signed. I realize I'll be the bottleneck on this, but that's the way it's going to be for now. That digital certificate means something in terms of legal responsibility, so I have to be careful with it... As much as I trust several developers, I'm not quite ready to hand out a digital certificate with the Rare Ideas, LLC name on it to someone I haven't personally met and signed a contract with. I hope you can understand that.

As I've said over the past couple weeks we've been moving again, it will take a little time, and there will be some growing pains along the way. But, it's happening.

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

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Sorry about the rant last

Sorry about the rant last night, I misunderstood what you meant about the "1 app a day" thing. I realize that some events out of your control prevented other progress. I only made the release privileges suggestion because I had forgotten that you now digitally sign the official releases. It makes perfect sense to keep that as your own responsibility. And I realize legal issues take precedence over getting new apps released.

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

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I'd like to get Xenon on

I'd like to get Xenon on board. It is turning into a nice file manager. It is currently not up to the latest PAF standards, mainly because of legal reasons. (Can't use installer. Creative Commons, MIT License) I'll update it as soon as you post the PAF format with the exceptions.

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app dev deconfliction and email

I'm looking to get a response from an email I sent to John in the past offering help and deconfliction on developing one type of app.

I was starting to work on making one of the software SIP programs portable until someone (Ryan?) said John was working on one so I dropped the idea. Is anyone working on making Open Wengo or SIPCommunicator portable? If not, I'll give it a try.

Additionally, I sent John an email asking if he would like help making a portable UPXing/JAR squishing GUI in NSIS for UPX and 7-zip he mentioned he had started working on. I'd like to give that a try and relieve some workload on John. Yes, I know the email may have been flushed in his latest email purge he mentioned, but I didn't get a response so I'm in limbo.

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Ryan's Tick Five

I believe Tick Five is ready to be released.

Release Team Member

BuddhaChu
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nope

Uhhh...Tick5 is by me, not Ryan and it's not "ready" as I need to update and add some files. No ETC as I'm working on PortableWormux and my American Cancer Society volunteer stuff.

All: Don't post "ApplicationX is ready" unless you're the developer of said PortableApp.

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Help control the rugrat population -- have yourself spayed or neutered!

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Sorry

I said "I believe". I assumed it was ready since no one had posted any more complaints

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Patrick Patience
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Yea

I agree. And I'd take that as a complement knowing you were happy with my application.

Ryan McCue
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Quick question:

Since this is basically the newsletter, can we convert it to a newsletter?

Oh, and was that pie comment directed at me? Blum

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

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Hmm

I'm gonna say that's a no. Blum

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Nope and nope

The newsletter is gonna be more end-user focused... and only once a month. These updates are weekly and more developer, moderator and everyday participant focused.

And the punch and pie thing is from the South Park movie... something reminded me of it recently.

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

Patrick Patience
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Okay

But then we can't keep delaying it. You've got at least 20 people who will help out on this newsletter. I know you want to wait for the 1.1 release, but why not get us started writing now?

rab040ma
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Freemind

Freemind seems to be fairly clean (at least Patrick hasn't given me a boatload of corrections to make, though he may simply be still collecting them).

The "release" appears to be 0.8.1, and that is ready. But the "development" version (0.9.0 beta 15 or so) seems to be what everyone uses, since the development cycle is so long and the betas are relatively clean. I don't know if you want to go with one or the other. Right now the 0.9 installs with a "test" directory (as Firefox 3 beta does). Is that the way to keep it?

I have probably not followed the latest conventions scrupulously. If I need to go back and do that, let me know. If so, then we can do another week of development testing.

I can probably maintain it.

MC

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Haha, No

When I checked it was good. I'll give it one more once over and let you know.

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Can we add FakeNES Portable

Can we add FakeNES Portable to the list of developing applications?
I got it to development test 4.1- and it works well. Just curious.

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Jooleem is Ready

Jooleem portable is ready.

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Travis Carrico
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ConvertAll Portable

I believe ConvertAll Portable is ready to go and I can support it ongoing. For the splash screen a .svg is located in the app's original source code.

https://portableapps.com/node/11468

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