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Rob Loach
Rob Loach's picture
Last seen: 13 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-09 17:29

After doing some brainstorming on portable applications and adapting existing applications so that they'd be portable, I thought it would be pretty neat to have a program where you could easily make applications portable just by writing a script file, without having to compile it. All the script would do is tell the system where the application stores its data and the system would take care of the rest.

For example, let's say you want to use ProgramX on your USB drive, but it stores all its data in the registry. You could make a simple script file that would tell the system where ProgramX stores its data and then the system would take care of the rest. Since this script is read in when you want to run the application, there is no need to compile it or deal with external compilers like NSIS.

Having a system like this would greatly increase the number of people who could make portable applications because you wouldn't have to know how to program (or something like NSIS), all you'd have to know are the commands to tell the system where the data for the application is stored. Lua is a very nice and easy to use scripting language (much nicer looking then NSIS).

Now, I've written up a prototype of this scripted launcher system so you guys can have a better idea of what I'm talking about. Download it and try it out. There's still loads that's missing, this is just a prototype and is missing the core functionality. I'm just putting this out there to see if there's any remote interest in a scripted system launcher.

It has an example script that just launches the calculator, but that's about it. Also in there is the source so you can take a look at what I'm working with.

The Future
With the final product, you could use a script like that following to make a program that saves its inforation in the registry, like WackGet, portable:

SaveFromRegistry("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\...\TheProgram", "settings.reg")

You'd just save that as "TheProgram.lua" and then run "LuaLauncher.exe TheProgram.lua" and there you'd have your program, nicely wrapped up to be portable, wrapping the registry. This is much easier then having to deal with editing and then compiling NSIS. Would this be of any interest?