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QuickWayToFolders Portable 0.1 Alpha Release

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DysDaemoN
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Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2016-03-31 11:53
QuickWayToFolders Portable 0.1 Alpha Release

Application: QuickWayToFolders
Category: Utilities
Description: QuickWayToFolders is a portable application which provides quick folder content access.
It is flexible enough to be used as a fully-interactive desktop, a resizable browser window or a menu displaying the content of one or multiple folders.
Although the app can run natively in a portable manner, I have decided to package it in PAF format for a number of reasons, which will be explained in a subsequent post because of space considerations (and the overzealous Mollom spam filter).

Download QuickWayToFolders Portable 0.1 Alpha Rev 1 [1.77 Mb download / 2.80 Mb installed]
(MD5: 247aaeebc7578caef868a29d6583861b)

Download QuickWayToFolders Portable 0.1 Alpha Rev 1 in .7z format (MD5: 7c34d6e2aaf1cbaae160b4202e34f1bd)

Release Notes:

Alpha Rev 1 (02.04.2016):

  • Removed desktop icon positions from relevant .ini in DefaultData to avoid potential stacking of icons.

Alpha Release (01.04.2016): Initial Release

  • Launcher will automatically execute the correct -bit version of the app (32/64), which is necessary considering that the 32-bit version refuses to run on 64-bit Windows.
  • Prevents multiple instances of the app (portable or local) from being launched (since a single instance can support a limitless number of different desktops/browsers/menus, assigning a tray icon for each one).
  • Automatically move the config. files to Data\Settings upon exit, as per the PortableApps Format 3.0 specifications.
  • Prevents saving the "Multiple Users" and "Launch At Windows Startup" (by use of "FileWriteN" in launcher .ini) configuration options, as it would break portability (would write in %Users% and Registry, respectively).
  • Added pre-set config files in DefaultData to automatically set the app as a portable desktop pointing on PortableApps.com root folder (the one containing Start.exe) on first run, to make it easier for new users to adjust it to their liking.
  • Added my own skin to the app, which is better suited, imho, for darker-coloured themes than the included ones.
  • Added functional help file, splash screen and icon formats, again following the PA Format specs.

Comments\Questions

  • While the relative path to set the desktop/browser folder works normally (using either type of dash), the one used to point to the background image requires using the forward dash (e.g. ../x/image.png), else it will not be interpreted correctly. This had me confused for a while, accustomed as I am to using the backwards slash for relative pathing, but seeing how it does function with "/", I'm now unsure as to whether I should bother fixing it automatically with [FileWriteN]. I'm open to suggestions.
  • The same hold true for pointing to the tray icons, however the Config GUI of the app opens a window to browse to the icon which does not interpret relative paths at all. Instead, the path to the icon must be entered (using backward slash) in the relevant .ini key, or the icon itself be placed in the App\Appname folder and its firename entered (without the path) in the .ini or GUI for it to work. Considering that the filename and location of the desired .ico cannot be known beforehand, I have yet to come up with a user-friendly fix for this. All help is, of course, welcome.
  • The app offers the option to be controlled by a customizable launchbar instead of the default tray icons. However, it does not display on newer versions on Windows (unsure which version broke it), leaving the user with no other way of terminating it than using the Task Manager or another app. I thus considered eliminating this risk by preventing this option from being saved in the ini, using [FileWriteN]. This, however, would deprive users who still use older Windows of an arguably better option than tray icons. Please advise me on this dillema.
  • I would like to receive some tips/help about setting up the automatic update for the app. Jacquelin Potier, the Developer of QWtF, releases two .zip files (one for each -bit version) containing QuickWayToFolders.exe and the Skins and Languages folders. Since the folders and their content are common for both versions, how could the 64-bit executable be renamed to QuickWayToFolders64.exe and placed alongside the 32-bit one and the common folders?
  • I had once noticed a bug which would cause the pseudo-desktop icons to forget their position. Although I had identified the problem to lie within a .bak file (which would somehow take priority over the .ini of same name) and thought of a fix using [FileMove], I never had the chance to apply it as I've yet to reproduce the bug ever since I started using the PA Launcher to run the app. So, if you notice your icons reverting to their default positions, please drop me a line here to let me know that the bug is still around.
  • This is my first take on PAF-ing a program, so please try to be lenient and helpful.
  • DysDaemoN
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    Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
    Joined: 2016-03-31 11:53
    Reasons for Package

    As explained above, I had to split my original post because it had apparently become too lengthy for the Mollom spam filter to allow. So, without further ado, allow me to explain in detail the reasons that led me to package QuickWayToFolders in PAF format:

    1) It provides the most elegant, in my humble opinion, solution to having a fully functional, customizable and portable desktop environment, making it a worthy addition to the PortableApps.com roster.

    To elaborate on this point further, QuickWayToFolders sports the following perks:

  • Interactivity: Create folders and files and manipulate them as you would normally do in your real desktop.
  • Functionality: It double-acts as a browser, allowing folder navigation without ever opening a file manager.
  • Customization: Operation modes, backgrounds, tray icons, folders, filters, colors, skins, sizes, z-layers, startup, it's all up to you.
  • Stealth: No wallpaper swapping whatsoever, using a bottom-layered browser window instead.
  • Safety: Never be stuck with an altered background on the host terminal due to an abrupt app/OS termination.
  • Convenience: The original desktop, icons and all, remains ever accessible by merely minimizing the faked one.
  • Compact: Less than 3 Mb PAF package, both 32-bit and 64-bit executables included.
  • Lightweight: Less than 20 Mb RAM usage (PAL included), negligible CPU usage.
  • Free and Open-Sourced: GNU-v2.0 license, source available at homepage.
  • Compatibility: WinXP to Win10 officially supported.
  • Support: Last Version (1.3.5) released on the 19th March, 2016.
  • 2) It has been requested in the past, yet never delivered.

    3) EmergeDesktop, which apparently is a popular solution to this issue in the PA forums, seems overkill in my mind for just having a portable wallpaper with a custom set of icons on it, since it acts as a shell replacement. Most importantly though, the project has been shut down and the download links for the PAF version by computerfreaker appear dead.

    4) Having tried most, if not all, other solutions found in this and other places on the net, no app has satisfied my needs as much as this one. In particular, it should be noted that swapping the real desktop wallpaper by any means (e.g. the PA Platform), even if it somehow ensures changing it back to the original in case of a system failure, will still cause the portable wallpaper to appear in the list of available pictures in the Personalize>Settings screen of newer versions of Windows, thus leaving an unavoidable trace on the host system.

    5) It is my intention to increase awareness for this admirable app, because I simply feel that it never received the recognition it deserves. In doing so, I wish to thank the PortableApps.com for giving me this chance, as well as you, kind reader, for reading this.

    6) For all its advantages, the app still has a few irks which lessen its usability. By utilizing the PortableApps.com Launcher, I have already been able to add some minor improvements upon it (hopefully more to come), which were noted in the post above under the Release Notes section.

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