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Dropbox on Platform 2.0

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ken.neiser
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Dropbox on Platform 2.0

Your new home page shows the Dropbox logo. Dropbox is available on PortableApps? Can run a PortableApp off Dropbox?

What does that mean?

Chris Morgan
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Runs off dropbox

As it says, "... carried on a portable or cloud drive ...". This is indicating that it'll run off Dropbox.

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ken.neiser
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Runs off dropbox

You can run PortableApp(s) on Dropbox? Eh? How do you do that? I thought you could only store "data" on Dropbox? Interesting...

If you can run PortableApp(s) on Dropbox do you have an example or a Help page from Dropbox showing how to do that?

Chris Morgan
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Just a disk

Dropbox provides a disk. It doesn't care about what goes in it - if you install a portable app to your Dropbox folder, it'll work.

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“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

ottosykora
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not sure what it is about

but I have for example a copy of my TB in my dropbox folder, but this is just a local folder which is then later synched with the dropbox storage on the server. So it is simple local install, do not see the cloud operation behind it anywhere.
If I delete the contents of the local folder they will be later deleted (but this works slow) on the storage server too.

This is at least how it works on my side with dropbox. Nothing works from cloude or similar so far.

If I want run the TB located on dropbox container, it has to be downloaded first, otherwise nothing will happen.

Otto Sykora
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tapsklaps
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Meaning of "carried on a portable or cloud drive"

As I have read on the new homepage the words "carried on a portable or cloud drive", I suspected that it is possible to use the portable programs as a web app. But that's not true.

While I can install the portable apps in my Dropbox folder, but where is here the decisive advantage? It is only possible to login on another computer via the browser in my Dropbox account and then I can download the complete folder of the portable app. The only advantage in this case would be that I could use the portable app immediately with my own settings. But a direct execution of the portable app (as a web app) on the online server of Dropbox is not possible.

The only real advantage would be that through the installation of Dropbox on another computer (eg laptop), the app with all settings would be available on this laptop. One could, for example on a trip in the laptop read through the emails with Thunderbird Portable. And any change in the app, which I perform at one of the computers, is then at all other computers with installed dropbox because of the synchronization available be.

Simeon
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drive letter

Aparently, it is possible to have the dropbox show up as a drive letter and then run portable apps from there. Web apps have never been possible nor advocated.

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tapsklaps
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drive letter vs. cloud drive

It may be that I can integrate dropbox on a virtual drive and can then start the portable apps from there. Just as well I can run the portable apps immediately inside the dropbox folder. But what does this have to do with my argument concerning the erroneous reference to "cloud drive" on the homepage and the Dropbox icon?

Simeon
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depends

I think it depends on the definition of cloud drive.
If you think "cloud drive" refers to the fact that one can install portable apps through a browser and access it via a web interface, then its misleading.
But if you understand it as being able to sync it from your home PC to your Laptop via dropbox as you said in your last paragraph, then everything is correct.

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tapsklaps
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typical definition of Cloud Drive

Now I think the typical defintion of Cloud Drive means, that you have access on the portable apps via a web interface.

solanus
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Then that should be clarified

Of course, on the home page, the phrase "carried on a portable or cloud drive" is suitably vague - it doesn't claim that you can RUN the apps from a portable or cloud drive.
However, most* of the other icons in that line (the USB drive, the iPod, the MP3 player, the SD card, the external USB drive) conform to what the main intent of how PortableApps work: you plug in your device anywhere and it just works. So unless there is a clear description of this deviation, then it's misleading.

* That second icon looks like a Dumb Phone. I don't know how you would use that with PortableApps.

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tapsklaps
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correct view

I'm completely conform with your view.

solanus
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You need to have Dropbox installed, don't you?

That should work if you have Dropbox installed on the computer you are using (which creates the share drives) and you have administrator privileges.
If you are logging into another computer (friend, school, library), and all you have is the web interface to your dropbox, I don't see how that would work.

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ottosykora
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yes you can

set up dropbox so that it will appear as drive in your windows, however dropbox themselves were blocking such functionality in the past time to time for what ever reasons. But yes, you can have it like any other webfolders appear as a drive. This was possible also with other services as the closed xdrive before.

Still there is no way to run any executables from it. It never was possible and I do not see how this should be possible.

Who ever reports running some apps from dropbox, he in fact probably runs everything from the local sych folder called dropbox. This folder is then synched in the background (very slow in most cases however) with the content on the server.

Otto Sykora
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solanus
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Anyone actually have success using Dropbox?

I just DL'd and setup Dropbox, and it does not behave like a share drive. You can browse files for sure, but they aren't executable from the website.

So, I'd like to hear if anyone has ever used Dropbox to run PA.c remotely.

There are lots of other online drives out there, so I'm sure PortableApps will run on some of them. However, if it's true that Dropbox cannot run them, the icon shoud be removed; as it is, it appears to be an endorsement of that service.

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tapsklaps
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legitimate demand

For the above reasons, I also would advocate for the elimination of the Dropbox icon of the home page. Even the words "cloud drive" should be removed.

John T. Haller
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Carried

The selection of the word 'carried on' was intentional and has always been a part of our vernacular. You can carry portable apps on an iPod Classic, Android phone or cloud drive but you can't run them *ON* the iPod, Android phone or cloud drive. It's not an iPod app so it can't run on the little iPod screen with a click wheel. It's not an Android app, so it can't run on your phone. And it's not a cloud app, so it certainly won't run from a browser.

A 'cloud drive' is a *DUMB* drive that just holds files. This is industry-standard terminology. You may be able to view your files in a web browser (like you can view your files on your SD card on an Android phone), but you can't do anything with them until you 'connect' them somehow to a computer (either by downloading and working with them directory or connecting a virtual drive to them). A cloud app or cloud computing means apps that run from the cloud. We don't use either of those terms because that's not what we do. The problem is people lump 'the cloud' into one big thing when it really isn't. Heck, you're downloading these apps from 'the could' from our server and mirror network, but that doesn't mean you can run them from there.

The ability to run from DropBox is a big plus and a lot of our user regularly run the PA.c Platform and our apps from their DropBox drives/synced folders, syncing their computers as they do so. As such, it is a feature and should be promoted as such.

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SES21
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Stored?

John, if I may be so bold, I'd like to suggest "stored on" instead of "carried on." That might be less confusing since most people can relate to storage as simply that & you don't "carry" Dropbox anywhere. You do however typically carry the other items pictured while Dropbox is just "cloud storage." The cloud storage could just as easily be SugarSync or any other cloud storage provider...

Just my $0.02 - take what you like & leave the rest!

Daniel Brvnišťan
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Nice explanation :)

I have been doing this for some time already. But there is a problem.
(not sure if I am posting it in the right thread, sorry if not)

I have portable apps on 3 computers and I sync them using DropBox. I am having problems with Google Chrome portable. It runs nice on each computer, Dropbox does the syncing. But for some reason the extensions stop working, or miss completely. The same with bookmarks and other things. I see no pattern in it. Something just disappears. And then I see in the installation folder tons of conflicted copies. I would understand if this would happen if I would not wait for the synchronisation, or run the app on two computers at the same time. But I always wait a few minutes and make sure that DropBox folder is fully synced. Do you have an idea what might be causing this?

ottosykora
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many addons dont work

when you copy the files from one place to other. Therefore you can not run such apps from dropbox and copy them from one place to other. Simply many addons are not made for being copied from one place to other.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

constantino
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App irregularities with Dropbox

@Daniel

I have also been using portableapps with dropbox for years and have seen similar behaviour. I cant find the link but I read an explanation somewhere about how some extensions, particularly for Chrome essentially "break" portability. It was a while ago but I solved my Chrome problems by either removing and reinstalling extensions, or replacing them with alternatives. RE Bookmarks, I can only recommend you use the built in Chrome synch for this. Admittedly synching your bookmarks with other browsers will not be seamless but in my opinion that is rarely necessary.

Your computer might also be at fault. With my Thunderbird (which manages 4 email accounts for two jobs plus 2 personal accounts stretching back 5 years) I found that years of extensions, moving from portable to normal and back to portable editions, from USB to Dropbox and so on, had left crap all over the place, both within the Thunderbird profile folder and the computers it was used on. Again, often badly designed extensions end up leaving registry or local folder traces that might lead to your PCs behaving erratically when switching from one PC to the other. Fixing this involves going into your extension ini files and searching for out of date locations, eg c:/OLDPC/Document/Dropbox and changing it to whatever should be. I have spent many an hour combing through these, replacing extensions, ensuring all my PCs have the portableapps (and thus Dropbox) in the same location and yet there are still three extensions that will always disable themselves when I switch PC (despite them being virtually identical in setup and naming).

At the end of the day, probably the only solution will be to create a fresh Thunderbird profile, copy across my mailboxes and reinstall all extensions from scratch, but its a daunting task and one I will leave for the next time I give the PCs a fresh OS install.

I have gone on a bit, but its worth considering when using Dropbox for your PortableApps that some apps or extensions for apps will be location sensitive or will inadvertently leave registry or other traces on local machines. These will hopefully be squashed over time but its worth ensuring your dropbox location is always in the same place (I keep it at root, ie C:/Dropbox to keep filenames shorter, this has also been a problem in the past) and occasionally checking your PCs registry for traces of portableapps that shouldn't be there.

Daniel Brvnišťan
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DropBox Portable

Btw., there is also a thing called DropBox portable which simply synchronises the content of your USB flash drive etc. with your other Dropbox folders. But it is not an official DropBox client.

cpdvital
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Dropbox portable

how are you install dropbox in my portableapps? What the name from App ?
Tanks

rectitude
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You can't,

You can't and I can't see why anyone would want to use DropBox to sync their apps when the menu should be doing it for you.

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