RawTherapee (RT) is a portableapp used for processing the raw files produced by many digital cameras. It has been discovered that large numbers of files that are cached for the purpose of aiding transition from one invocation of RT to the next are being transferred/stored on the local machine. This data may be very personal. It is precisely to avoid such a phenomenom that is one of the primary reasons for desiring to use portable applications in the first place.
Based on observation it appears as though these files are being stored on the portable drive in folder named “\PortableApps\RawTherapeePortable\Data\RawTherapee\cache” but are transferred to the folder named “C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\RawTherapee\cache” while the program is executing and then removed from there when RT terminates normally. It is suspected that they may be transferred back to the portable drive upon termination as the means for updating them. There are 2 problems with this concept as follows:
1. For RT these files may consume an enormous amount of space which might not be available on the local machines C: drive. This problem might be considered minor in that a consequence could be that RT simply fails to run on such a system. However, it is also possible that consumption of this space could have a significant consequential negative impact on the local system where such is completely unexpected.
2. A huge problem is that when RT fails to terminate normally these files would be left on the local machine without any but the most savvy end users aware of such a result. This data is likely to be of a personal nature and could end up being inadvertently left on numerous machines that are not under the control of data’s owner and who does not expect use of the portable application to be spreading their data around in this manner..
On Windows it looks like RT intends to use environment variables for locating where these files should be stored. Based on RT documentation there is a hard coded variable name of “%LOCALAPPDATA% which is used by default and that appears to be the location to which RT Portable is transferring the files on startup. However, RT provides the ability for the user to customize where such data is stored by setting a variable named “RT_CACHE”.
NOTE: There is also a variable named "RT_SETTINGS" that functions is a similar manner.
I’m not very knowledgeable about the mechanisms used to make applications portable but a quick glance at some of the ini files (e.g., particularly \PortableApps\RawTherapeePortable\App\AppInfo\Launcher\RawTherapeePortable.ini) there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to facilitate this aspect of the design of RT by defining a variable named “RT_CACHE”.
Absent some resolution for this problem this portable application ought to either be withdrawn or else a very prominent disclaimer given to anyone who might choose to use it.