I've got the portable instance of google chrome set as the default browser on my work computer and ran into a few issues.
1. When I click on a hyper link from MS Outlook email I get a new browser window which I suspect is a new instance of Chrome. It doesn't appear to be using my current profile. None of my bookmarks are available and it doesn't use the default theme I've setup.
Anyone else have this problem?
2. Minor issue. If I click on an email link before I open Chrome Portable it does not work. I'm not sure it's possible to have that works correctly since it's not technically "installed".
Since it's not technically installed it's also not possible to have it as the default browser I'm afraid. That will undoubtedly break portability, which might explain the problems you're having.
What has happened is that the actual Chrome executable is launched bypassing the PortableApps launcher, thus not using your portable profile.
I'm a Firefox user evaluating Chrome, and I also noted this issue
If Firefox is installed and it's the default browser (despite you're actually using the portable version), and the portable instance is the one running at that time, it'll be used by any external application. So you can share the running portable profile for both your own websites and the externally launched ones
However, it's not the same case for Chrome as the external app launches a new instance of Chrome using the local profile instead of the portable one.
Is it based on the browser internal design or a portability technique might apply as workaround?
This is a known "feature", and quite honestly it's probably a total happy accident. The programmers of Firefox probably didn't foresee that there would be other (, portable) versions of Firefox running so they never bothered to write code to account for it. Can be useful for Portable Appers using FFPortable, but still a complete fluke AFAIK.
I can't say for Google Chrome, it seems to dig its hooks a bit deeper into the operating system and so perhaps Chrome Portable is too far detached from Chrome for Chrome to "think" that Chrome Portable is just a plain old Chrome instance.
In short, I don't have a good explanation but many people, like I said, are aware of this Firefox "feature".
Since I primarily use Chrome/Iron portable on a machine that is also required to have IE8 (for intranet sites), I use Browser Chooser as my default browser. If I click on a link, it allows me to then choose which browser to use. I can point Browser Chooser to my USB drive, which allows me to keep Chrome/Iron completely portable - the OS knows nothing about Chrome/Iron.
You must use regular installed version if you want to associate files or protocols. The portable version was made to be portable, not to be used as regular installed version. As well as the installed version shouldn't be used as portable too.
Let's use the things as they was made to be used.
Does Browser Chooser clean up after itself? AFAIK, the only way to set a default browser is to set registry keys. So for it to be truly portable it had better put back the registry keys as it found them.
I really only use PApps on one machine. I've found that Windows XP just isn't happy unless the "default browser" whatever it might be is installed locally with the correct registry keys.
Which is why I normally just leave mine as Internet Explorer (or whatever the default was previously). The only partial way around it, is to associate HTML files with the portable browser's launcher, but then if you're going to make a system change like that they you might as well go the whole hog as you've done. Having said that, I know portable file association is on the cards for the Platform so then it would become portable, and would be potentially less invasive.
In your case, I suppose it doesn't really matter, if you most likely only ever intend upon using it on one machine. I guess, the only thing you have to worry about is that you don't break portability because then you'd lose the benefits that come with, and you might as well just stick with the installed version in that case.
Our Intranet sites are written in an amalgamation of proprietary Microsoft formats including Frontpage, so we're required to use IE7/8 for Intranet use. They also try to prevent local installations of Firefox and Chrome but with a company the size of mine, that effort is very hit and miss. A couple of the guys on my team get nag messages from the corporate spyware service the instant they install one of them. Other of us, like me, have installed both of them in the past and never gotten a nag message.
I actually started using PortableApps with Miranda (and now Pidgin) because internally we used both Sametime and Microsoft OCS, depending on your business unit. Rather than try to run, and manage profiles, in both clients, I used Portable Miranda to have a single client for both. My positive experience pushed towards more and more Portable Apps including my browser.
My biggest browser issue is/was that I want to open internal, work-related websites in IE8 and everything else in Chrome/Firefox. There's no reason to break portability by using file associations, because file associations don't address clicking on links in IM or Outlook, which accounts for about 95% of the browsing sessions I start.
Inserting Browser Chooser as my default browser accomplishes a couple of key things. 1) It's NOT a browser at all so the corporate scanning ignores it. They're looking for Firefox/Chrome/Opera/etc. 2) It creates a "buffer" of sorts between the Portable Apps browser and my OS. My OS knows nothing about Chrome or Firefox. In turn, Chrome/Firefox know nothing about Browser Chooser. So I'm really not breaking the browser portability itself, I'm pointing Browser Chooser at an executable that only exists if my USB key is connected. If I take my key to another machine without Browser Chooser, it functions exactly as a "default" install of Portable Apps should.
It works pretty well for what I need but it's certainly not for everyone. That being said, I did mention earlier that there's a checkbox in the Browser Chooser config for a "portable mode". I wonder if we could package Browser Chooser as a Portable App and have it load/unload with the Portable Apps Platform. Since the PA Launcher can do registry changes and cleanup to remove traces, maybe we could actually make Browser Chooser TRULY portable?
I attempted to contact both the Project Leader and Developer listed on Codeplex (http://browserchooser.codeplex.com/team/view) for Browser Chooser but neither of them responded.
I'm not an expert on software licensing - can anybody see any reason this CAN'T just be packaged as a portable app? Do I need to get permission?
I'm really interested in making this my first portable app but want to make sure I'm following the rules.
It looks like it's a .Net app so it wouldn't get an official listing... not yet at least.
Other than that it looks like the source code is freely available (not that I tried to download it). I would imagine some kind of licencing information would come with the source code.
I'm gonna try to "portablize" and see what happens...
Awesome! Would like to test your portablized Browser Chooser. Otherwise, I see Browser Chooser has a "Portable mode" tickbox: anyone know what that might be about?
Between work and beta testing some new IPv6 home gear, I haven't had any chance to even start on it yet. Sorry...
Looks like they have a portable version ready to download on the download page. This should make it easier to package it as a .paf
Edit: Btw, when packaging it as a .paf file, is it possible to arrange things so that, upon unpacking/installation the configuration file (BrowserChooserConfig.xml) ends up in a separate folder than the executable file (BrowserChooser.exe)? That would be awesome!
I'm getting crushed right now with work and won't be able to work on this for a while...