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Why installer...?

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OppfinnarJocke
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Why installer...?

I just DL'ed OO Portable... For me a "portable" app is is a piece of SW I just drop into a folder anywhere on my HD or USB drive or wherever (maybe after unzipping), and run from there. Why does OO Portable come with an installer? What does it install?

I am very picky (obviously :)) about what "installs" on my machine, as I use it for running recording studio SW and I cannot afford to have the machine cluttered with all kinds of background services running. Basically, all the apps I use, except a handful trusted ones, are "portable" in the sense described above.

So... how "portable" (in that sense) is OO Portable really...?

John T. Haller
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"Portable" Installer is the operative term

And applications in PortableApps.com Format are generally much more portable than random zipped up apps you unzip and run. PA.c Format apps follow a very specific specification as detailed under the Development link. They use a launcher to ensure everything is portablized properly and everything cleaned up afterward. And they use the installer to make installs and upgrades nice and easy. The advantages are:

- Apps packages in a PA.c Installer result in a smaller download for users. Zips are bigger
- Apps packaged in a PA.c Installer can automatically detect and existing PortableApps.com Platform and app installation and offer to install into it
- Apps packaged in PA.c Installer can easily upgrade an existing version of an app to the new version just by installing over the current one. User data is unmodified. Zips don't do this.
- Apps packaged in PA.c Installer have an easy to use, familiar, multilingual wizard helping users install their apps to the right place.
- Apps Packaged in PA.c Installer can automatically install and upgrade when used in association with the PA.c Platform and Updater, even doing installs and updates silently without user prompting
- Apps Packaged in PA.c Format have their data stored in a consistent location (AppNamePortable\Data) for easy backup with something like the PA.c Backup Utility.
- Apps Packaged in PA.c Format can be moved between PCs and have the drive letter change and automatically adjust the internal settings, last used file lists and similar of the app, so they just keep working
- PA.c Format is the most widely used, standardized format for portable software today. It's open source, under an open license and it's free.
- Both the PA.c Launcher to make an app portable and the PA.c Installer to package it up require no coding or changes in code to the base app. They use simple config files.

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

OppfinnarJocke
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OK, thanks for the

OK, thanks for the clarification.

So I guess OO Portable is not "portable" in my sense of the word, and I notice you did not say anything about what services and registry clutter etc OO Portable does or does not install. In addition, I do not have a use for most of the points listed above, so I guess OO Portable is not for me, at least not on this machine.

Pity.
Thanks.

Jhonn
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No services and no registry

The PortableApps Installer DOESN'T install any service on your computer and all registry keys that have been imported to you registry (to make the app to work) are backed up after the execution of the app and then COMPLETELY REMOVED from your registry.

ZachHudock
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There are no services

There are no services installed. The services\functions that John listed above are coded into the installer (poor choice of term as it technically isn't an installer, more like self extracting zip on steroids), the [AppName]Portable.exe launcher (this file is used to run the app, and handles backing up any local settings, moves your portable settings into place, launches the app, then on close, will move your portable settings back and restore the local settings), and the PA.c Menu (if you don't use this, the app still works fine, you can still update manually just by "installing" over the same directory. Only things that you won't have are the PA.c Backup Utility and the upcoming? auto updater)

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

Darkbee
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Your Digital Life, Anywhere(TM)

Did you look on the "What is a portable app?" page to see PortableApps.com's definition of what it considers portable to mean? Perhaps that might clear up your questions. The basic goal of PortableApps.com is create apps that can be run for a portable device without leaving common traces on host computers, and retain settings across each computer. No services, no registry settings, no temp files left behind.

Just because portable apps programs come in an "installer" doesn't mean they install cr@p all over a machine. Like Zach said, think of the installer as a glorified self-extracting archive, which enables even a complete novice user to set up the application where they might not ordinarily know how to handle zip files.

Your concerns are justified but you seem to completely misunderstand the concept of PortableApps' apps. They basically do what it seems you are expecting them to do, but believe they don't (i.e. not adversely effect computers they are run on).

solanus
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Terminology is always a little tricky

There are always issues when you are starting a new paradigm in software, and trying to use existing terminology.
Here the term "Installer" is used, but it's different in many ways from other installers.
Other terms that are used here that don't always exactly fit the generally accepted definitions include "Platform" and "Launcher". *
As you become more familiar with the apps here, you should find that for your purposes, OpenOffice Portable should be just fine.

*Of course, we could have used unique terms for "Installer", "Platform", and "Launcher" - like "Exsquoosher", "Bleepblorp" and "Sproinger", which could only mean exactly what we do, but we want people to take us seriously.
Biggrin

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

OppfinnarJocke
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Thanks for the replies. You

Thanks for the replies.
You have not convinced me.
A "portable" app should need no installer. End of story...

Darkbee
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Just a container

Should it need a zip file then? Seems redundant too if you want to go down that road.

Anyway, you're free to choose PortableApps (or not) as you wish. Nobody is holding anybody hostage here.

Good luck with your search.

solanus
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This is your prerogative.

I hope that you are not basing your decision solely on the replies in this thread, but by learning exactly how the portable apps here work.
Please also bear in mind that while you may find "portable" applications available on other sites that are merely unzipped into a folder, that is no guarantee that they will leave the registry undisturbed, or will leave no trace on your computer.
Many apps write to the registry and create user folders upon running, even if they don't use installers, so lack of installer is no guarantee to portability.
Make sure that the apps you choose, wherever you may find them, have the ability to redirect folders and clean up the registry upon closing, if necessary.
Good luck.

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

John T. Haller
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Fine

It may make more sense to think of it as a self-extracting zip with a couple added features to add upgrades. Nothing is ever installed to the local PC.

Keep in mind that there are no zipped portable versions of many of our apps, including Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. Any you find of those apps that are zipped are illegal and likely not fully portable.

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

3D1T0R
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PortableApps.com Installer doesn't install to your machine.

As Solanus said, you should read the What is a portable app? page to see what "Portable" means here.
(Note: I believe you may find that you mean what we mean, but don't yet fully understand what makes it work that way or not)

I am very picky (obviously :)) about what "installs" on my machine

The PortableApps.com Installer installs to your portable device (e.g. usb flash drive) NOT to your machine.
As John T Haller stated, being placed in a zip file that you can extract to your flash drive and run does not mean that it isn't leaving garbage and settings on your computer, whereas all the official PortableApps.com Apps have been extensively tested to make sure that they will not leave any such things behind on the host computer when you close them.

If your really care about what is getting left behind on your computer you will either test all your "portable" apps to make sure that they don't leave stuff behind, or you will use official PortableApps.com apps.

What you do ofcourse is up to you, but I recommend PortableApps.com apps (in PortableApps.com "installer"s) over any random zipped files that you find someplace on the internet.

~3D1T0R

Darkbee
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Still Good Luck

By the way, OpenOffice will never just be a single executable that you " drop into a folder anywhere". If it is, then it has most likely been packaged by some app virtualization software and so is completely illegal.

When you find what you are looking for, I will show you an honest politician. Wink

3D1T0R
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I think that he has found what he was looking for

I think that he has found what he was looking for in OpenOffice.Org Portable (by PortableApps.com) but didn't realize it because he got hung up on the term "installer" and thought that "installing" something was what put it's settings (and any garbage it leaves behind) on the computer (which in general is partly true), and didn't realize that the PortableApps.com Installers are very specifically designed to work just as portably as the PortableApps.com Apps (which set the standard for portability [generally not followed by other Portable App Publishers because they generally just don't care]).

~3D1T0R

Darkbee
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We All Know It

Unfortunately, it seems the OP does not. I don't know whether it's a language barrier, some sort of mental block or just plain ignorance. In any case the OP made it clear that PortableApps is not for him, but I'd be extremely interested to see if he finds a legitimate, single EXE, office suite. Perhaps one day he will see the light.

tamere22
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Digging old thread

Digging old thread
OP is 100% right, you guys here have a complete lack of good faith.

Portable App = NO INSTALLER

There is no other "interpretation" or "langage issue".

A portable app is the opposite of an installation/setup/whatever app, it has -no- setup.

It's a shame to see portable apps packed with an installer. It just defeat the main purpose of a P.O.R.T.A.B.L.E app. Sad

Ken Herbert
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The main purpose of a

The main purpose of a portable app is to carry the app from computer to computer without losing your settings & files. This is 100% possible with our apps. You do not need to run the installer on every computer - you run it once on one computer then can move the folder to any other folder/drive/computer and it will continue to function. That is portability.

Extracting a zip archive is no different to running an installer - both take packed files and extract them to an unpacked state which is still a form of setup. Some traditional Windows installers do additional tasks like putting files and folders in specific locations, creating registry entries, etc. but our installers do not do anything outside of the app folder that is created.

Also not using installers would prevent us from releasing apps that we do not have the legal right to repackage (many of our freeware releases). These apps are still just as portable as anything else we release, but without that first step to download the app itself while running the installer we could not make them available.

There is also an additional benefit of installers you are missing. We cannot sign a zip archive - we can only provide hashes of the archive. But this does not prevent a third party from tampering with the zip and recalculating the hashes, or worse someone performing a man in the middle attack on your download. Yet with an installer we can digitally sign it, so no matter where you download it from or who has access to your internet traffic, if it is signed by PortableApps it comes from PortableApps 100% unaltered.

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