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Firefox 3 for U3

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Ph4n70m
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Firefox 3 for U3

Since firefox 3 doesn't exist for U3, I decided to do a u3 package by myself...
But I want to do a question:
If I just replace the files of the firefox 2 for the files of the firefox 3 inside .u3p file, will firefox 3 work correctly? or I need to edit the launcher and recompile it? the launcher for firefox 2 is different from launcher of firefox 3? have more codes and etc...?
Thanks!

EspaÑaks
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i don't know how the U3

i don't know how the U3 installers operates, but you could search for the FF1 installer & compare the differences with FF2, & make them relative with FF3

Eiñ??? A siñature????

John T. Haller
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Nope

The launcher has changed a lot since Firefox 1.x. The last supported version of Firefox for U3 was 1.5. There are a couple Firefox 2 versions for U3 floating around but none are supported, all are outdated and all mess with the local PC and leave stuff behind. Firefox 3 introduces even more changes than 1.5 to 2.0 so a new launcher would need to be written.

Also, keep in mind that if you do repackage Firefox 3 for U3, you can't distribute it.

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

Ph4n70m
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I know... I would do it only for myself, without distribute it.
But thanks for the informations! Pardon

sergentsiler
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if you were really determined...

you could just package FF 3 in PAF and with Smithtechs shortcut creator and stuff.

you would have to set it to install the files into the hidden "system" directory. then you would have to make the installer automatically detect the install and add it to the menu or provide instructions on how to use the shortcut creator to add it to the menu.

Zoop

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FF 3

I just downloaded Firefox 2.x from U3's site and went to the help menu and choose "Check for Updates...". It updated mine to Firefox 3.0.3. and I haven't had a problem yet.

Now on a second note: A guy I work with was still using FF 1.5 from this site (portableapps.com). He downloaded the FF 3.0 update and put it in the Exec/firefox/updates/0, folder on his U3 drive and it updated him to version 3.0.3. The only thing that I see differently is that he has the Splash Screen from the portableapps.com version. But he has yet to have any trouble.

Now weather or not this is a good thing to do, I don't know. But neither of us have had a problem for the past few months. Also the computers at work are constantly monitored and checked and there hasn't been a single footprint left behind.

-Jim

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actually i had firefox 3 for

actually i had firefox 3 for my U3 after i upgraded from firefox 2.0.17 the first time. then i downloaded an addon and it made my firefox unresponsive so i tried to re-download firefox but it keeps on saying there are no new upgrades.

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Just wondering

Ok, I am not clear on exactly how the Mozilla license works, so I apologize for my ignorance on the subject. Would the following be possible (in order to make for distrobution's sake. I have already made it work for myself via my own version of the U3 Shortcut Creator.). I am capable of doing ALL of this, I just want to know whether or not it would violate the Mozilla license. I have a feeling it would, but it would be cool if it didn't.

Create a U3 package that contains the .paf.exe installer as its only file, which would run at the first launch of the program.

On first launch of "FireFox U3", ACTUALLY launch the .paf.exe installer, but first either tell the user what directory to install to or edit the installer so that the destination directory could be specified from the command-line (I.E. the U3 Installation's "Exec" directory for the particular app).

After FFP is installed into the app's Exec directory, replace the .u3p file in the installation directory with another that contains only a manifest file that will launch the newly installed FFP rather than the installer. This also eliminates the issue of U3 installs taking twice the space because the files remain in the .u3p file (a relabeled .zip file).

If this sounds messy, it isn't really that bad, and I've done it before. Basically, here is what would happen.

User downloads FF .u3p and installs
"Installing" FF ACTUALLY just copies FFPSetup.paf.exe onto the user's flash drive
User "Starts" FFU3. What they get is the FFPSetup.paf.exe opens
User Installs FFP (The EXACT setup file provided by PA.com, other than maybe the change specified above to make sure it goes in the right directory)
The next time the user starts FFU3, they will basically have a U3 shortcut to FFPortable.exe, and voila.

In essence, I would just be distributing the OFFICIAL PA.com FFPortableSetup.paf.exe inside a .zip file with a separate launcher. Yes, I'm making a portable launcher for a setup file. As I said, THIS DOES WORK. The question is, would it be allowed.

Also, I know from previous experience that John does not want his name or anything else PA.com associated with U3 anymore. I would remove any PA.com branding. I use both U3 and PA, it would just be cool to see FF3 on U3.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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Violation

This would be a violation of the Mozilla license agreement we have with them. Third party distribution and modification is not permitted. The U3 shortcut creator is a severely flawed product as it doesn't actually put things in a true u3 format so the end user is left hanging on upgrades, etc.

You are only permitted to redistribute the unaltered Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition digitally-signed binary installer that we provide to you.

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SmithTech
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Not "Severly Flawed"

The shortcut creator is and does exactly what the name implies. It creates a shortcut.
If the path to the executable doesn't change, "upgrades,etc." work just fine.
It was designed as a shortcut creator and not a packager specifically for this reason.
Even the portableapps menu won't work properly if the executables are moved out of the designated folder structure.
The shortcut is indeed in a "true u3 format", what it is not is a u3 package.
Just wanted to clarify this.

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

John T. Haller
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Data

The shortcut creator creates apps that do not use U3's data directory. Thus, they are not backed up by any products which backup U3 app's data.

Plus, with upgrades, they either act like unzipping over the existing app which will break many apps that change what is included between releases or they blow away the app's data. You only have the choice between those since the app and the data are in the App directory. If it's only a single EXE that doesn't change, this wouldn't be an issue. But we're talking about Firefox, which isn't.

I guess a more accurate description is that the resulting app is not a u3 package and is not in true u3 format and thus seriously flawed. An end user who understands these limitations and is comfortable going into the System directory and manually upgrading their apps is fine in using it. But if someone were packaging, say, PortableApps.com Format apps with it, they'd break on upgrades and your data would be in the wrong place.

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

Ph4n70m
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Most of the programs for U3 are made wrong, even some in the site of U3 are wrong. Some programs distributed there nor are legal versions, as for example the Winamp. In addition, a lot of unnecessary files are packed inside Winamp .u3p file.
Some apps don't respect the U3 routines, like "appStop" for example, so they don't have a properly shutdown. For those and other reason that I prefer to do myself the programs for my use.
I like PortableApps.com because all apps hosted here are clean, organized and trully portable, made by people who understand how to make it.

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As I said, I do NOT use, U3

As I said, I do NOT use, U3 shortcut creator. It has several shortcomings, not the least of which is lack of proper appstop integration. I actually created my own app along the same lines that addresses this and other issues. The fact that the app is installed outside the U3 directory means that 1. The U3 Launchpad believes the entire program to be a few dozen kb in size, because it only sees the shortcut in the U3 directory. Also, attempting to uninstall the app via the launchpad's uninstall button only uninstalls the shortcut. If you only want to use it for the shortcut, and realize it for what it is, the U3 Shortcut Creator does exactly what it says. Unfortunately it does no more than that.

My shortcut creator, on the other hand, fixes these problems by allowing the user to specify what program should be terminated by appstop and give the user the option to migrate the entire program into the U3 directory on first run.

You're right, many apps on U3 "Just Work" or worse, but that doesn't mean the entire platform is crap. I understand this forum's preference for open platforms and such, especially how the platform can be installed on pretty much any media (I have the PA suite installed on my phone's MicroSD card that I use with a thumb-sized USB reader), but that doesn't mean that the entire system should be dismissed. I could make the same argument against certain operating systems, but where would that get me? Nowhere useful.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

Ph4n70m
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I forgot to say that I use and like U3, but I make modifications in some U3 applications to fit my needs...
May you send me your shortcut creator? (:

SmithTech
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True and Not True

If portableapps format apps are installed to the format default of \PortableApps\{appname} updates work fine, as does the portable apps backup utility and the data stays in the appropriate place.
The u3 system directory really shouldn't be used for non u3 apps anyway.
U3 backup utilities will back up the data as well you just have to do a full backup.
I should probably post a FAQ explaining this for users, but calling the utility "seriously flawed" is false. It does what it is intended to do and when used "properly" works very well including for updates and backups.

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

John T. Haller
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How?

A lot of users use it to take our apps and put em in U3. So, how would an upgrade work with your packager when the user is using say Firefox Portable? I mean a u3 upgrade where a new u3 package is produced by the user to upgrade their existing one?

The u3 packages can only be set to add files (like unzipping over an existing install) or replace them (by deleting em all first). So, the user either upgrades by unzipping over... their data is maintained but the app breaks as you can't unzip ff3 over ff2 or ff2 over ff1.5... or they lose their data. That's what I'm talking about.

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

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Ignore the U3 installation

Ignore the U3 installation process and do a "real" install. Put a .paf.exe installer in the Host Exec folder of the .u3p so that it gets extracted onto the host computer, not the U3 drive. This way you don't get the "twice as large" issue. Now, at first, the U3 manifest points to the .paf.exe as it's main executable, so by "running" the program, you actually run the installer. Now comes the part that would not work with FF because of the license issue. Edit the installer so the installation directory could be passed by command-line rather than user input, so it automatically installs into the U3 Device Exec folder. Now replace the .u3p with one that contains only the appicon and the new manifest to point to the newly installed program. Voila. "Upgrading" via the U3 installation doesn't touch the existing files, as the HOST directory is the only one changed, the "real" installation is done by the .paf.exe. Of course, this would only be necessary for very complex programs such as Firefox. Simpler programs wouldn't require the .paf.exe installer at all, just the U3's default installation (with a few tweaks to the directory structure so any data files are moved to the U3 data folder so the Exec folder can be overwritten or replaced while the Data folder can be set to "Add only"). I use U3 a lot, and have worked on several U3 programs. I just use PA code heavily, in order to avoid reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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Hmmm

On re-reading, I think I'm confusing SmithTech's shortcut creator (which just makes a shortcut to an app already on the drive) for that other U3 Package Factory abomination. Sorry, SmithTech. That's what I was referring to and why we were arguing past each other.

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

SmithTech
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That explains it

No biggie. (NHNF) I 'was' starting to get a little upset at my app being called 'severly flawed' though Wink
I did consider making an app along the lines of the package factory but decided on just the shortcut creator for exactly the reasons mentioned here.
Anyway it did bring up a good point, I should post a little bit of information for folks that use it so they don't use the system folder, and if they are using portable apps format apps to use the portable apps backup utility.

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

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Scenario

The user would update/upgrade our FFP the same way they do now.

The short cut in the Launch Pad is only a pointer to:

X:\Firefoxportable\FirefoxPortable.exe

or X:\portableapps\Firefoxportable\FirefoxPortable.exe

I think there is some confusion about what is happening here.

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

Ph4n70m
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.

I already thought about that idea of replace .u3p after having installed, only leaving the manifest and the host folders inside of .u3p, it would free space occupied unnecessarily,
I would like a lot if PortableApps.com also make versions for U3 again.

John T. Haller
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Nope

U3 is a competing but closed format to PortableApps.com Format that only works on drives from Sandisk.

At PortableApps.com, we're working on a universal platform that works on *ALL* hardware from all manufacturers instead. It's far more popular in terms of number of users and in terms of number of downloads when comparing a portable vs a u3 version of the same app.

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

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Not just Sandisk

U3 was jointly developed by Sandisk, but I have seen Kingston and other brands of U3 drives.

I totally understand your stance on open platforms. I just happen to use U3 as well, so I am "giving back" by developing for it.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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Not Anymore

The other flash brands abandoned it. Kingston, PNY, etc had all done small tests of a couple drive lines in it, but they've all stopped supporting it.

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

qwertymodo
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Indeed,a quick Google search

Indeed,a quick Google search confirms this. I guess I still just know a few people who have them. From what I understand, the whole platform required firmware-level compatibility (probably for the security lockdown), so it's understandable that the other companies dropped it.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

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Trying to reproduce your guide

Could you please explain in more detail what needs to be done to achieve the functionality you described or where I'm making a mistake? I'm trying to create an U3 Package for my personal use.

What I did so far:
- created u3p with paf.exe of SeamonkeyPortable (very similar to Firefox)
- installed u3p-file to U3 stick
- started Seamonkey entry in the U3-launcher, resulting in PA.com-Setup
- performed PA-setup of Seamonkey and installed to \{Seamonkey-ID}\Exec directory
- edited the u3p file on the USB-stick to replace PA's ico with Seamonkey's ico
- edited manifest to match new icon-name (restarting Launchpad shows correct ico)
- edited manifest-file to replace

with

The u3p only contains the edited manifest in the Manifest directory and the appstop.exe in the Host directory in the end. (or do I need the data-directory in there, too? If yes: which data needs to be there? by default it's the paf.exe, I guess that's useless at that point there)
Calling Seamonkey from the U3-Launcher results in an instant error-message, that a problem occured (not stating WHICH problem).
What might be wrong?
I alsready tried two wild guesses by replacing

with

and by moving the whole content of the Exec-Directory and using %U3_APP_DATA_PATH% again. Both didn't change anything.
kind regards

keen

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No U3

U3 is crap. Nobody should be smokin that stuff. Only thing worse than U3 is meth.

However, if you really want to convert your PortableApps for your U3 menu, you can try two things:
Shortcut Creator for U3
PAF-2-U3P (My own app)

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Ok... I guess I'll just have

Ok... I guess I'll just have to resign myself to the fact that despite this working perfectly, licensing shoots down yet another good idea... What is this, M$? (Sorry for the sarcasm, yes I know it's mozilla, not John... portable IceWeasel, anyone?)

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

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sourceforge :)

[Edit]
This is @Ph4n70m... If I don't log in BEFORE I click "reply" it puts my post at the bottom regardless of what I was attempting to reply to.

link removed by moderator JTH

You want PortableAppsLauncher

Let me know if you have problems... I recall trying to add some features that messed it up and I'm not sure what version is online. If it is working weird (or not at all) I'll try to be sure to get the right version up there.

FYI: GIMP and 7-zip that are on there "Just Work" right now... I know, it's terrible... I was in high school when I started the project and I almost got working versions of 7-zip and GIMP for U3 but then I went off to college and didn't have much time for it. I got Pidgin working really well, but I haven't had time to update to the most recent version, and the most recent version on my site has a bug (In Pidgin itself, not my fault) that causes an exit hang, so 2.5.2 is the best there. ZSNES works great (put roms in the U3 Data folder), and so does VBA although it may leave a registry entry for last ROM accessed, I'm not sure :(. That's the bulk of it. I may put up OpenOffice.org using the method I described for FF, because OOo is LGPLv3 so no messy licensing.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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GPL Violations

Your link has been removed as you are currently violating the GPL. You are repackaging GPLed software using U3's closed source installer which is a violation of the GPL license and, thus, copyright law. GPL software can not be packaged using it.

You're also failing to host the source code for all of the apps you are packaging as required by the GPL, LGPL and SourceForge.net terms of service.

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

qwertymodo
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All of my source is publicly

All of my source is publicly available through sourceforge's subversion, at least I'm pretty sure I set it up for public access...

[Edit]
No more setup .exe's... u3p's only. I was in high school when I started this... I claim ignorance :s but obviously I've got a lot to figure out if I'm ever going to go anywhere with this...

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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7-Zip, etc

You're required to also host the source of all GPL binaries you distribute. So you need to host all the source to 7-Zip, Pidgin, etc yourself. And add the source for each new version. And keep them hosted for a period of at least 3 years from when you last distributed the binary version.

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

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If that's the case, there are

If that's the case, there are TONS of apps violating the SF ToS. A lot of apps dont have a source download, but have public read access to their SVN or CVS

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

John T. Haller
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No

His SVN is hosting HIS source, not the source to 7-Zip. He's not recompiling 7-Zip, just packaging the binary. He needs to also host 7-Zip's source in his project.

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ah ok...i get it now

ah ok...i get it now

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

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Can I just tell people where

Can I just tell people where to get the source for those binaries from their original authors? I've been working on this for awhile, but never really knew all of the proper steps needed to take to actually distribute. Is there like a "GPL for dummies" that I could look over that would have all of this kind of information in checklist "you have to do A, B, and C to redistribute unmodified GPL software and D, E, and F if it's been modified" form? Whenever I hear a "quick and easy version" of the GPL, it's "free to use, free to redistibute" without the caveats... I want to do this right, just don't know how.

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

John T. Haller
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You Host

You need to host the source yourself on your own servers (or SF if you use that). For every version of every app from when you release it until 3 years after the last person downloads it.

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

John Bentley
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Perhaps I'm a bit confused

Perhaps I'm a bit confused about this, but what about the source for the applications we distribute here? Wouldn't we have to distribute the source for most of the apps (not the launchers)?

cowsay Moo
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We Do

We distribute the source for every version of every app we release. You'll find links to the app source at the bottom of the homepage for every app. We also mention it in the text files in the other\source directory to let users know where to get it. And you can see em all on our SourceForge.net project:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=151265

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So it is considered enough to

So it is considered enough to just link to the source?

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No

You must be hosting it yourself. We are hosting it ourselves via our SourceForge.net project (where we also host our downloads). Linking to, say, VLC's or AbiWord's source code on their server is specifically not acceptable under the GPL.

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OK, I see. I didn't realize

OK, I see. I didn't realize that we mirrored the source code.

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Looks like I have some work

Looks like I have some work (and some more learning) to do.

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I think I'm good now

I think I'm done cleaning up my sourceforge page... although that leaves me with only two apps at the moment Blum I'll try to get the rest of my apps up to legal specs with source code and getting a copy of the GPL in all of them (some of them I forgot :s). Oh well, better to be going about it the right way.

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.

I have ZSnes and VBA made by myself, with launchers that arrange the paths when drive letter changes Smile

I have downloaded your PortableAppsLauncher. It's not bad, but I think it would be better if it get program name, version and icon from the .exe instead of we write them. Just because we only want a shortcut, it should be more easy.

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That was on the list for a

That was on the list for a future release... Unfortunately, like I said college has not been conducive to hobby coding. We'll see how it goes.

FYI: ZSNES defaults to looking for ROMS in the current working directory, which can be specified in the U3 manifest start command without a launcher at all. Wink

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

Ph4n70m
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Yeh, but I like to keep my

Yeh, but I like to keep my roms, sram, snap, etc etc... into Documents\ZSnes folder.
So I made a launcher that is executed on "hostConfigure" routine (:

qwertymodo
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Also, I was looking to make a

Also, I was looking to make a general shortcut for *any* portable application, but seeing as I did really gear it towards official PA's, I suppose I could grab most of that info from the AppInfo.ini, eh?

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

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