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Making the current platform behave like its (potential) future self

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solanus
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Making the current platform behave like its (potential) future self

The current platform release has lots of great new features, but there are still a lot of requested/planned features that have not been added.
Here's a short list of some that I've seen recently:
1. Categories
2. File Associations
3. App Updater
4. Portable Fonts
5. Custom Folders
6. Re-ordering apps

While we are waiting for these to be implemented, we can use other "add-ons" and tricks to make the Platform do what we want.
Here's my list of how I've dealt with these things:

1. Categories
First, there is a solution on this site, that's not too bad: Categorizer
It's not perfect, tho.
Second, you could hide the less frequently used apps, and unhide them only when you need them.
Third, you could have your main apps in the PA Platform, and put links to your other apps in a secondary app launcher that you open from the PA Platform. This is my preferred way. I use Cylog Toolbox, which is extremely versatile and inherently portable.
P.S. You can also nest a PAPlatform inside the PAPlatform, but that gets confusing!

2. File Associations
There are two apps in development on this site that do this. I've used them both.
CAFE Mod/eXpresso works fine, but it seems to have stalled in its development.
Portable File Associator seems to still be in development, as the last update was just in June. This is the one I use.

3. App Updater
This is slated to be added to the next release, but it's been delayed several times, so if you don't feel like waiting, there's the original PortableApps.com Updater.
I stopped using it myself to update, because I don't think the links are being updated in it (in anticipation of its inclusion in the platform). Besides, I'm impatient, and I find it much faster to manually download updates using the DownThemAll! extension.

4. Fonts
You can save fonts locally and use them in OpenOffice as described here by JTH, and there's also PortableFonts.

5. Custom Folders
Some people have asked for adding new folders to the default list. I use a trick to put them in with the apps in the menu.

6. Re-ordering apps
JTH has already added the ability to pin apps as favorites to the top of the menu, but otherwise everything is listed alphabetically.
Luckily, JTH has also added the ability to rename apps, so there's an old trick that works OK. Rename the apps, and start the new name with a number or a special character etc, and you can pretty much put them in any order you want.

There are other requests too, that may or may not eventually make it into the platform. In the meantime, check these Test Releases, there are some great gems!

Bart.S
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Nice

but it's a double post Blum
https://portableapps.com/node/20510

Tim Clark
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The other "post" is a blog

The other "post" is a blog entry. I'm not sure how we should be dealing with blog entries that are dups of standard postings. I am leaving it up to John to decide if one or the other should be deleted.

Tim

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

Bart.S
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Blog

Who can blog here? Long-time users, devs, mods? Just curious.

NathanJ79
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Blogs

Bart.SWho can blog here? Long-time users, devs, mods? Just curious.

It's based on groups and permissions, I would imagine. A lot of forums are set up that way. Everyone is in a group (e.g. Banned, Members, Moderators, Administrators) and each group gets certain permissions. Can post, can reply, can edit, can delete, can close, can move, can... blog? Also "can see" for each forum. You could make a forum called, say, Hell, that only banned members can see and post in. That ain't uncommon. So "blog" is probably given to Developers, Moderators, and Administrators, because I see blogs from devs who pretty obviously aren't moderators - and the other two. But nobody I'm sure ain't associated with one project or another. The other Nathan (Nathan9222) can blog, and I don't know what he develops, I just know him as the guy who does launchers, e.g. CCleaner, DVD Shrink, others.

Anyway, while you're hacking and tweaking the menu, #1, #5, and #6 can all be solved by using the R34 MOD, but I guess that's a given. Sure, the old caveat is that theoretically it can cause problems, but the same could be said for hacks that are listed as in beta and haven't been updated in a long time. Bottom line is, it'll all work for most people.

Funny thing is, we all want all these features, but that other portable apps company, the one who charges $40 for their menu and portablizer, I forget their name, their menu is ugly because it's got so many features. It's just overkill. So I can fully understand why the devs value the Platform's simplicity. It does what it's supposed to do. Also, someone on another project's forums brought up a concept called "feature creep" where a program begins to take on more features than it really needs to, in order to satisfy everyone's needs or to stay relevant, to the point where it has all these stupid extras that go too far beyond what the program was supposed to do from the start. I think that is a concept the Platform's devs want to steer clear of.

solanus
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Let's not worry about blogs here.

I'd like to not use this to discuss who has blog rights or not, due to a temporary double-post that I have since deleted.
I am 100% certain that it was a glitch due to the freakiness of the spam filter problem, and that it was not a blog, it was an uncategorized forum post that should not have been possible, and under normal circumstances, is not possible.
I am not a mod or dev, and I do not have a blog here.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

NathanJ79
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Wasn't the point

solanusI'd like to not use this to discuss who has blog rights or not, due to a temporary double-post that I have since deleted.

Sorry man, wasn't trying to make a dig at you; I was answering someone else's question. Your double post was deleted when I came in here and was not on my mind when I answered the question. I was only speaking generally. However I do apologize from straying from your topic's main points.

solanus
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Sorry!

This whole thing got caught up in the spam filter fiasco.
I had kept trying to post it but I got denied every time.
I know I didn't try to make a blog post - I only tried to make it here, or as a response to https://portableapps.com/node/20158
I didn't think I could make a blog post either.
EDIT: I've deleted the other one.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

solanus
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In a way, it's an informal plug-in system

A lot of software development works this way. You have a base module which has functionality that 90% of the users use, and then user-created plug-ins (add-ons, extensions, whatever) are created to give new functionality without having to rebuild the base. After time, some of the most popular plug-ins will get incorporated into the base. The less popular ones remain as plug-ins for those that want them.

Here, we have a base platform that is stable, simple and functional - and progresses very conservatively. But John's only one man.
In the meantime, through the clamor of requests, some of our ingenious devs have made add-on solutions, of which at least 3 (Updater, Associator, and Fonts, according to various posts by JTH) are planned to be folded into the Platform... at some time in the future.
The features I'm listing aren't weird wild-hair requests; #1, #2, #3, #4 are definitely going to be added in the near future, and likely #5 and #6.

My intent was to give simple interim solutions for those that want to use the official platform, not some MOD, but are feeling impatient for the promised new features.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

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