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Default location for personal data/created documents?

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depp.jones
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Default location for personal data/created documents?

Testing some apps in development test status arose a question for me: Where to point an App's Output folder by default - if applicable?

It seems to be handled differently until now. Some apps default for AppnamePortable\Data, some for "My Documents" on the host PC (many official apps), some for Documents including their designated section Pictures/Music/Video, some even somewhere in their App folder (obviously a design flaw).

As this has some impact on document handling and the selection of files backed up in a data backup, I think this should be clearly defined in the PortableApps.com Format Specification.

The Platform with its link section to document folders implies Documents to be the place to store (and look for) user generated data/documents. Some apps create really large files (videos, music), and having them in one place - i.e. folder - seems to ease handling, searching, backing up. The Documents folder is the place which amasses a lot of data size wise, just as it is designated exactly for that.

Storing documents in the AppnamePortable\Data folder means a gain in portability of a single app - just copy the directory and everything is contained, app, settings, documents - but complicates document handling in general. I just think of the masses of less experienced users who even have some difficulties to keep track of their documents in My Documents at home (no offense meant).

The Backup of the platform even determines it with its backup rules -

  • Everything in the Drive
  • User settings - just the contents of the Data folders
  • The Documents folder

With that said, the practice to default for "My Documents" on the host PC seems questionable as created documents are stored in a location that in most cases is not there the other day. And it somehow breaks portability as the user himself has to take care of that - i.e. remember not to save his sensible documents to the host PC or moving them to their USB-Drive before they leave... the less experienced users come to mind again. :evil:

I don't know what technical problems arise with that, though. How many apps just don't remember their last used save folder or use the OS's default?

If this has been discussed before, consider that as another supidity. I didn't find anything via search.

John T. Haller
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Varies, Technical Issues

The simple answer is: it varies. For something like GnuCash where most people will have exactly one financial database, Data is the obvious location. For something like AbiWord or LibreOffice, X:\Documents (or, more correctly, %PortableApps.comDocuments%) is the proper place.

But the simple reason why we don't do this for most apps is that most apps do not in any way, shape or form permit customization of the default open/save location. Or, they only support the local My Documents directory with no option to change it. Some others will only open in the current working directory (which is generally either AppNamePortable\App\AppName or AppNamePortable\Data).

So, overall, it depends on the app (Data vs Documents). And some apps can't be customized.

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

depp.jones
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Thanks! Long question, simple

Thanks! Long question, simple answer. Wink
So I got it right with my only app for now. I have to check for the newly discovered additions (some example music files in app directory since lately).

comtech5
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I was under the impression

I was under the impression that AbiWord is open source, yes? I'm surprised that any portable apps would allow any personal data to be written to the local drive by default. That would defeat the entire purpose of being portable, no? Is there a solution then for AbiWord? To change the created documents storage location I mean. I would want to store them on my portable USB drive of course. I am also surprised that there is so little information/discussion posted anywhere on this, what seems to me as a topic of prime importance.

Futurist. Enthusiast.

John T. Haller
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Long Dead Topic

This is a long dead topic. You can have AbiWord save your documents anywhere you want, either locally or portably. The above discussion was about the default save location (aka the first directory it offers you to save in), which is often not customizable. You can save wherever you want.

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

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