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.PAF format specifications?

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paladin225
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.PAF format specifications?

Hello,

I was looking at this comment by John T. Haller, and I was wondering how close to completion the Portable Apps Format is. I'm going to be using it in Application Manager Portable when the final version is made available (apps in the repository will have to be in that format, and the installer application needs to know how to deal with it).

Thanks.

Rick Smith // Paladin225

Klonk
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I'm also interested as I then

would integrate it into the Portable Application Template as far as possible to fit the "standard".

paladin225
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Isn't .PAF just the installer?

That's what I was referring to, at any rate. I'm still figuring this stuff out, so...

John, do you have any idea how soon the PortableApps.com Installer Format will be released? If you haven't included this already, can you add a commandline argument portion to the format so that AMP can figure out how to deal with it?

Also, most importantly, does the Portableapps.com Installer Format license restrict what applications can be installed by it, or what applications can use it? AMP is MIT-licensed, and portable applications in its repository may be any of a myriad of open-source licenses; are we allowed to use your installer format, or do we have to create our own? (I was thinking of modifying your installer slightly to include GPL'd artwork, so that developers who want their apps in the AMP repository can use it without worrying about using your copyrighted artwork.)

Ick, I hate copyright law. Intellectual property gives me a headache...

Rick Smith // Paladin225

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If I remember correctly

John said something about his installer (the new one) working with all kinds of licenses, even closed source ones.
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Ryan McCue
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.

PAF is the format, including extractors, launchers, directory structure and other stuff.

Take a look at the Delphi source.

'"' + strAppToInstall + '" -o"' + strPortableAppsPath + '" -y -/SILENT=YES /DESTINATION="' + strPortableAppsPath+'"'

Therefore, `"C:\App.exe" "-oC:\PortableApps\ -y -/SILENT=YES /DESTINATION=C:\PortableApps\"`
-o is output directory. -y is Assume Yes on dialogs. -/SILENT is silent install. /DESTINATION is the destination directory.

I have taken a look and it should be OK, seeing as the PAF extractors will be seperate executables. I've had this discussion with John about GPL and the EPL and for licensing purposes, they are basically seperate things.
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paladin225
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So let me see if I have this straight.

The source you mentioned is in the PortableApps Menu, right?

The AMP development team can modify the PortableApps.com Installer Format slightly to use fully GPL'd artwork and such so that developers can quickly put their apps in said format without legal worries, and then put the installers in the AMP repository, right?

Therefore, `"C:\App.exe" "-oC:\PortableApps\ -y -/SILENT=YES /DESTINATION=C:\PortableApps\"`
-o is output directory. -y is Assume Yes on dialogs. -/SILENT is silent install. /DESTINATION is the destination directory.

So we can use this setup from within the AMP installer application?

Or would it be easier to just have two formats within AMP--.paf.exe for JTH's apps, and .pkg for apps in the AMP repository? I'm starting to think that dealing with this installer format is sort of overkill...

Rick Smith // Paladin225

Rick Smith // Paladin225

John T. Haller
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Nope

It's GPL with exceptions so that the installer can be used with non-GPLed software but this exception does not extend to others. So, if you modify the PortableApps.com Installer, you can only use it with GPLed software. This is similar to the license that UPX uses that allows it to be used with non-GPLed binaries but only when unmodified.

Also, you can NOT repackage apps like Firefox, Thunerbird, Sunbird, etc into a format other than the exact installer being distributed by PortableApps.com without permission from Mozilla. The license given to PortableApps.com does not extend to 3rd parties.

As I've said, there is more happening behind the scenes with the installer, format and a repository but I can not discuss it publicly.

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

paladin225
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OK, now I get it.

It's GPL with exceptions so that the installer can be used with non-GPLed software but this exception does not extend to others. So, if you modify the PortableApps.com Installer, you can only use it with GPLed software. This is similar to the license that UPX uses that allows it to be used with non-GPLed binaries but only when unmodified.
Then it looks like the best way to go is a fully unrestricted open source packaging format (i.e.: just plain old 7z files :-P).

Also, you can NOT repackage apps like Firefox, Thunerbird, Sunbird, etc into a format other than the exact installer being distributed by PortableApps.com without permission from Mozilla. The license given to PortableApps.com does not extend to 3rd parties.
That wasn't what I had in mind. I'm not sure what method we'll use, but AMP will check what the current version of all your apps are (checking RSS feeds, maybe), and if the user wants to install/update one of your apps, the required file is downloaded from SourceForge.net. We'll have enough on our hands dealing with other developer's programs without having to deal with mirroring your apps--yours are so popular that they'd kill our bandwidth even if we could legally host them. (In any case, modifying your apps is not a problem--we'll use the method Ryan posted to extract them.)

As I've said, there is more happening behind the scenes with the installer, format and a repository but I can not discuss it publicly.
There we go with the cloak-and-dagger stuff again... Now you're making me really curious! Smile

Rick Smith // Paladin225

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John T. Haller
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Bad Idea

The installers for all the apps now perform extra checks required for upgrades. You can't upgrade TB 1.5 to 2.0 without using the installer. The next version of OO will do the same thing. The installers are being standardized and is a required part of PortableApps.com Format. 7z or self-extractors are simply NOT robust enough to handle app upgrades for anything more than very simplistic apps.

The installer *IS* open source... it's GPLed with very liberal exceptions. Just because you can't then change it and use your own branding, try to pass it off as your own work and then use it with commercial apps doesn't make it any less so.

And you won't be able to do downloads of some of the upcoming apps hosted here. The freeware apps and things of that nature. You won't be able to direct download them from other sites (aka leeching) or through AMP. You'll only be able to download them through PortableApps.com.

Trust me, you're much better off working with the upcoming PortableApps.com system rather than trying to recreate the wheel.

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

paladin225
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...

The installers for all the apps now perform extra checks required for upgrades. You can't upgrade TB 1.5 to 2.0 without using the installer. The next version of OO will do the same thing. The installers is being standardized and is a required part of PortableApps.com Format.
So the method I mentioned above doesn't actually run the installer silently? It just extracts it? Considering that it is an installer, you'd think that installing from the commandline would, well, run an install... Smile

The installer *IS* open source. Just because you can't then change it and use it with commercial apps doesn't make it any less so.
I'm not going to change it and use it with commercial apps. Commercial apps won't have any place in the AMP repository. But the GPL isn't the only OSS license out there--what if a developer wants to make a portable app that's licensed under the Apache Software License, for example, but can't use your installer format because it has to be modified, and thus can only use GPL applications? Unless I'm misunderstanding all this. And in any case, as I mentioned, it's probably less of a headache to just use a .7z file.

And you won't be able to do downloads of some of the upcoming apps hosted here. The freeware apps and things of that nature. You won't be able to direct download them from other sites (aka leeching) or through AMP. You'll only be able to download them through PortableApps.com.
Those applications that are opensource and hosted on SourceForge.net shouldn't be an issue, right? I can understand your concerns about leeching bandwidth for those freeware applications that you're hosting on your own server, but at this stage AMP is primarily for open source applications, which SF.net hosts--I don't see any reason why you would (or could, for that matter) block applications from downloading files from SourceForge.

Trust me, you're much better off working with the upcoming PortableApps.com system rather than trying to recreate the wheel.
I see what you mean, but from my viewpoint I'm not recreating the wheel--we're both creating the wheel at the same time. You can't release anything for us to look at, so I have no idea what functionality your system will offer that AMP won't. For example, will your system work with third-party applications, or third-party repositories for that matter?

I'm not trying to get on your bad side (or anyone else's, for that matter). I'm simply stating my viewpoint on things. I mean no offense, and I hope none is taken.

Rick Smith // Paladin225

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John T. Haller
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Please re-read

what if a developer wants to make a portable app that's licensed under the Apache Software License, for example, but can't use your installer format because it has to be modified, and thus can only use GPL applications?

I just said the exceptions allow the installer to be used with other licenses. There are only certain things you can't change... like you can't rebrand it and call the installer your own creation. You can add additional code to do additional installer stuff. And, if it *HAD* to be modified... it would be because of needing additional features... which would mean your 7z proposal wouldn't work for it anyway.

And, no, the installer doesn't just extract. There is functionality within the installers that do things like remove files from older releases, move things around, etc. This is why apps have installers. Because it's not just a matter of unzipping a new version over an old one.

Also, several open source applications in the upcoming releases will NOT be hosted on SourceForge due to either licensing requirements or because they include one or more closed source pieces. These will also be hosted on the same servers as the freeware applications and also unavailable for direct linking/downloading.

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

paladin225
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...

I just said the exceptions allow the installer to be used with other licenses. There are only certain things you can't change... like you can't rebrand it and call the installer your own creation.
I was under the impression that people who don't develop for PortableApps.com aren't allowed to use your installer because of the branding. So you'd have to rebrand it to use it, right? I never said anything about taking credit for the work though. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the exception only apply to applications developed by and hosted on PortableApps.com anyway?)

Like I said, it looks like the simplest solution is just to use the 7-zip format, to avoid this whole issue. Admittedly, your installer takes care of upgrades and the like, but I see no reason not to have the AMP installer do the dirty work.

Also, several open source applications in the upcoming releases will NOT be hosted on SourceForge due to either licensing requirements or because they include one or more closed source pieces. These will also be hosted on the same servers as the freeware applications and also unavailable for direct linking/downloading.
Well, if direct downloading is an issue, then we can have AMP use an embedded browser window and have the user click the download button, or something to that effect. There's always a workaround for technical limitations--heck, wget with its user agent set to that of Firefox and its referer header set to the required page would work. But since this would be a royal pain for us and end users, and it's just plain rude, maybe some sort of synergy would be best--use your system for official PortableApps.com applications, and use ours for third-party developers. Unless, of course, your system deals with this, though you can't tell anybody yet... Smile

Perhaps it would be best to use your system to deal with commercial, freeware, and license-restricted OSS applications, and ours for completely unrestricted OSS software. A reasonable compromise, since your system has various license-restriction issues which pose too much of a hassle to developers who don't want lock-in. With our system, developers can run their own show (hosting their own repositories, for example), instead of dealing with legalese.

Again, no offense intended.

Rick Smith // Paladin225

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Ryan McCue
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I was under the impression that people who don't develop for PortableApps.com aren't allowed to use your installer because of the branding. So you'd have to rebrand it to use it, right?
No. You only need to do this if you are changing the launcher for another app, i.e. using the Gaim Portable launcher with Pidgin.

I see no reason not to have the AMP installer do the dirty work.
Think of all the code you'll need to do this. Many apps have very different upgrading ways and to accommodate them all would require a lot of coding and continual development to keep up with them all.

use your system for official PortableApps.com applications, and use ours for third-party developers. Unless, of course, your system deals with this, though you can't tell anybody yet
I know some of what will be happening in the next release, but I have no plans to reveal it. Plus, things are very likely to change from what I've been told.
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or because they include one or more closed source pieces.
I sense a Audacity Portable with LAME or something with QEMU. (Heh. QOSTRICH) (I say heh too much.) (Heh, Das ist Mein Hamburger! :P)
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So all that Airbus-delay trouble over here in Europe is because of YOU!
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Nice

german!
Wink
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"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

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Yeh, funny cartoon too. *cough*Simeon ist sehr doof und ist sehr langweiling (?)*cough*
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So all that Airbus-delay trouble over here in Europe is because of YOU!
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I dont know

the cartoon.
And it's "langweilig", not langweiling!
And you're wrong with your quote.
I try not to be langweilig.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” - Richard P. Feynman

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Ryan McCue
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I didn't know that, did I? Blum
Quote?
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So all that Airbus-delay trouble over here in Europe is because of YOU!
Simeon.

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With "quote"

I meant Simeon ist sehr doof und ist sehr langweiling (?).
Maybe we should stop being off-topic...;-)
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” - Richard P. Feynman

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

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Nah

Off-topic is fun. Biggrin
Anyway, how is it wrong (other than langweilig)?
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Because,

he isn't boring.

Yours

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*hits self on head*
That's not the point. I was showing off my extensive German vocabulary. Wink
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So all that Airbus-delay trouble over here in Europe is because of YOU!
Simeon.

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Well

I meant what Steve said.
I would never question your decuman, colosal and gigantic german vocabulary.;-)
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” - Richard P. Feynman

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

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The source you mentioned is in the PortableApps Menu, right?
Correct.

So we can use this setup from within the AMP installer application?
Also correct.

Or would it be easier to just have two formats within AMP--.paf.exe for JTH's apps, and .pkg for apps in the AMP repository? I'm starting to think that dealing with this installer format is sort of overkill...
Nope. That command line should work for any extractors using 7-Zip SFXs (or the new launchers).
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Ryan McCue.
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So all that Airbus-delay trouble over here in Europe is because of YOU!
Simeon.

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

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