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What is the point of using the launcher with apps that are portable already?

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Jason404's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2009-03-08 04:13
What is the point of using the launcher with apps that are portable already?

I started using PortableApps some time around 2007 I think, but I never really used USB flash drives that much until relatively recently (for work). Now that I have rediscovered PA, I have realised that they can also be used with my synced folder, which I use for all my other portable apps, command line programs, shells, scripts, etc. So I have found just how incredibly useful PortableApps portable apps are.

I have not started making any of my own portable apps, but I am going to start doing so.

I have a few portable apps which I have in a synced directory, along with my PortableApps portable apps. I usually start them using a script, from the command line, but it would be nice to be able to start them from the PA menu as well.

These apps are already portable, so they do not leave any traces on the host computer. Is using a PA launcher.exe really necessary for these apps?

I can see that Cook Timer, which is an official PA release and consists of a single .exe file, does not use a launcher.

However, Notepad2, which is usually a single .exe plus a single .ini file, does have a launcher. Why is that needed?

For some of the portable apps that I have, which I would like to be able to launch from the PA menu, I would like to avoid the additional memory use of the launcher, as I have them running all the time.

Some of these launchers seem to use more memory than the apps themselves, so I would like to avoid using them when they do not appear to be necessary, if possible.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 27 min 56 sec ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21

CookTimer has no settings or additional files, so placing it in the root is just fine. Notepad2 on the other hand has files that must be in the App directory while running and we move back to Data when closed (useful for backups and that way it isn't lost during an upgrade). The Notepad2 launcher also updates the most recently used files list so those aren't lost as your change PCs and drive letters.

For apps that can handle having their Data pointed to a specific place (via a commandline switching, environment variable or settings file) and don't leave stuff behind on the local PC that a launcher needs to clean up, the launcher will actually exit as soon as the app is started up. It only sticks around when it needs to. And it's setup to consume as little memory as possible when it does (Notepad2Portable.exe only uses around 700k of RAM while running, for example).

The complete details are here:

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Jason404's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 days ago
Joined: 2009-03-08 04:13

Thanks for your reply. If I start trying to use the standard generic launcher with programs that are already portable (do not make any registry changes or %APPDATA% files, would it be intelligent enough to know that it is no longer needed after launching, or would that require a custom launcher? I have not looked into how hard it is to make those yet.

Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2007-04-15 21:08

Check the docs for that value.

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