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Directory layout possibilities

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John T. Haller
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Directory layout possibilities

I've been debating directory layouts a bit and wanted some thoughts from other developers. Basically, I'm thinking internally to the apps themselves... which will also make things easier when used with the Suite and with the upcoming launcher.

My thought is this:

PortableAppName
 - App
   - appdirectory1
   - appdirectory2
 - Data
   - settingsdirectory1
   - settingsdirectory2
 - Extras
   - backup settings files, etc (coming soon)

So, for example, Portable Firefox would be:

PortableFirefox
 - App
   - firefox
   - plugins
   - PortableFirefoxCode
 - Data
   - profile

The reason for this change would be to standardize all the apps to a simple App and Data directory. This makes data-only backups and upgrades easier -- both manual and (coming soon) automated. It's basically like a mini version of the Suite-style directories.

The launchers would support this directory structure and the suite-style one with the launcher being placed in the standard position in the suite and in the PortableAppName directory or one up from there in the case of standalone.

I was also thinking about PortableAppInfo instead of Extras. Or possibly Misc.

Thoughts?

Bruce Pascoe
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I like the general idea...

However, I think you should rename "Portable<App>Code" to "Source" and move it up a directory level. And I'd suggest a few other name changes, but they're mostly just for cosmetic purposes. This is my suggestion:

Portable Firefox.exe

Portable Firefox Files
+-Application
| +-firefox
| \-plugins
+-Data Files
| \-profile
\-Source

Don't be afraid of putting spaces in file/directory names. At least, that's my philosophy. Smile That's what long filenames are there for, after all.

John T. Haller
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Source deeper

I'm not going to put the source at the top level. 99% of people don't need it and seeing it there just makes it seem more cluttered, so it's ok not being at the top. I may just make it a seperate download anyway.

That said, renaming PortableFirefoxCode to Source makes some sense if I keep them together.

And, personally, I much prefer PortableFirefox\Data to Portable Firefox Files\Data Files. That just seems verbose. When Windows apps are installed on a hard drive, they aren't installed as Mozilla Firefox Files. It's just Mozilla Firefox.

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

Bruce Pascoe
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...

To be fair, most Windows apps are installed into Program Files\<app>, so "Program Files\Mozilla Firefox Files" would be redundant. Smile

The only reason I prefer the use of the "<app> Files" nomenclature in this case is to keep newbies who don't know what they're doing out of the app folder. I don't know about you, but given the existance of PortableFirefox.exe, I'd be a lot less tempted to explore a downlevel folder named PortableFirefox Files than one named simply PortableFirefox. The former tells me right away "okay, this folder belongs to PortableFirefox.exe and I shouldn't touch it unless I know what I'm doing"; the latter doesn't.

It's kinda like how IE saves webpages. By default, you end up with webpage.htm and a folder named webpage_files. You can tell just by its name that webpage_files is inseparable from webpage.htm. If webpage_files was just named webpage, that connection wouldn't be anywhere near as clear.

I'm too friendly to the novices, aren't I?

John T. Haller
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YOU can

Well, YOU can tell the two shouldn't be separated. Novices, I would doubt it. Smile

And Program Files always seemed a bit silly. Programs would have served it well anyway. Novices poke around in it whichever name, which is why new versions of Windows warn users before poking.

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

Bruce Pascoe
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"Program Files" is the

"Program Files" is the better name, in my opinion. "Programs" suggests that the folder only contains the actual programs, when in reality it typically contains all the files that make the program run--hence, Program Files. If you haven't figured it out by now, I like accurate, descriptive names for stuff. You should see how long some of the variable names in Spectacles' code are. Smile (example: gvGraphicsScreenContent)

...but I'm going off on a tangent here. I won't try to stop you from doing whatever you like, but above all, I still think PortableFirefoxCode (or whatever) should be named Source. People don't seem to be able to figure out that PortableFirefoxCode contains the source. "Source" would be clearer on this point.

Torpedro
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PLEASE NO "Program Files"

PLEASE NO "Program Files"!
Spaces in Path is a big NoNo in my opinion! (I hate M$ for this shitty idea!)
If it really, absolutely HAS tot be the use ProgramFiles! Please, please!

I prefer the separate data directory!
Somehow i didn't get it to work for opera correctly Sad

Bruce Pascoe
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Calm down!

Sheesh, don't start hyperventilating on me. I don't have a paper bag to give you. Sad

I have no problem with spaces in filenames. That's one of the best uses for long filenames. Suppose, for a minute, that newspapers didn't use spaces in their headings? You'd see stuff like NewBinLadenTapeHasBeenReleased. A file or directory name is sort of like a heading... it describes what's in the file or directory before you open it. How is having spaces in a filename any worse than having them in a newspaper heading?

Torpedro
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cmd and batch files

But its much easier if you have no spaces in a path to execute batch files and do cmd-line work.

Bruce Pascoe
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Bah.

GUIs are faster anyway. And if you're writing a batch file, it's no big deal, either. You write the batch file once, and then just run it whenever you need its services.

Really though, what's the big deal? If the path has spaces, you put quotes around it. That's only two extra characters per filename, which really isn't a lot. I actually have more issues with *nix's case-sensitive file systems. If a file is named "FatCerberus" in *nix, I can't refer to it as "fatcerberus". In Windows, at least, I can.

-
fatcerberus@yahoo.com  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.

Jacoby
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This would definately make

This would definately make it simpler for people to do backups of essential data only (profiles, plugins, extensions) without extraneous files, and cut down on backup size, too. I like the organization, too. Sounds Good to me. Would be a breeze with Nero BackItUp, which is what I use every week. That reminds me, I got a backup to do. Today is Sunday.

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Jacoby
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Note to John: I've been

Note to John:

I've been playing around with NSIS and your launcher source for some apps, and I think I got the basics and could help out with this, if you need it. Would give me a chance to help out. Smile Email if you need help! I'll give it a shot!

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SHADOW-XIII
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good idea to make it more

good idea to make it more clean & tidy, especially for poor-pc-skilled people ... anyway I'm for it

Embrace your dreams

Deuce
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That works...

all of my apps are in sort of this structure, I just put apps into diffrent categories first.

***********************************
Deuce {The Core}
"Portable Software: Just the beginning.

Deuce
Portable Software: Just the beginning.

nm35
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Well...

I like:

PortableFirefox
 - App
   - firefox
   - plugins (shouldn't this be in Data?)
 - Data
   - profile
 - Misc
   - Source Code
   - Anything else misc

Leave the source in there, it isn't that big a problem. Just make sure that people can tell it's the source code.

We need a way to keep people from poking around in there, though -- I heard one user say "I have PortableFirefox and Firefox.exe, I deleted Firefox.exe because I already have PortableFirefox, and now it doesn't work."

Perhaps "App Files" and "Settings"? (We don't have "Program Files here, so it isn't redundant...)

~nm35 {blog} {personal space}

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