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Confused about folder usage

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LOGAN-Portable's picture
Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2007-09-11 12:24
Confused about folder usage

I'm a bit confused about how portable apps uses its folders. It seems very complex and I examined some that have seemingly double folders (with a textfile about registry files go here).

Now I know a certain folder structure has to be in place to make backing up and installing upgrades more easily, but it seems some things are spread over different subfolders that escape logic.

Isn't there a simple folder layout? not just a folder with a subfolder with a textfile in it?

Example: the source folders are on a folder other, why aren't they just a subfolder in the rootfolder?

Example 2: One of the sourcefolders is always empty except a textfile that states where the source can be downloaded.

Example 3: Configuration files and registry files (to me the same type of stuff) are in seperate folders?

I rather had seen something more convienient:

/AppNamePortable/AppNamePortable.exe The launcher
/AppNamePortable/AppName/ where the actual application is
/AppNamePortable/Config/ where the ini, reg and other configuration files reside
/AppNamePortable/Source/ where the source of installer resides (although I find it a waste of space.

Data saved by the user should go into Ducuments folder (for easy backup)

Having a seperate Sourcefolder for appsource that isnt used beyond a textfile seems a bit silly to me.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 14 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21

There are three top-level folders... and ONLY 3.

App is for all application binaries. Some apps have multiple folders within that (Pidgin for example has pidgin, gtk, aspell and appinfo). This folder isn't really for end-users to use.

Data is for all end-user data, settings and configurations. Mail folders, bookmarks, etc etc. Sometimes an app needs multiple folders there. The Mozilla apps all need a profile folder that's just for them (we wouldn't want to add additional stuff to it as it could break it) as well as an optional plugins folder and a settings folder for the settings maintained by the launcher itself. And this AppNamePortable\Data folder is automatically backed up by Backup when you select to backup application data, since all applications share this structure.

Other is for stuff that doesn't fit in the other two categories. There is one Source folder in all newer apps (Other\Source) and there has been for a while now (it contains the text file you mention in addition to the launcher source). Additional help files also go in here (Other\Help). And the installer config files will go in here in later releases (Other\Installer).

In short, it's well planned out and makes sense. It's consistent across all apps. It also allows things to be expanded on as needed without having a dozen oddball folders off the app root.

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

LOGAN-Portable's picture
Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2007-09-11 12:24
Ah ok

Ah ok. I brought this up because of hairpulling experience about seeing more than one folder with: your geristry entries go here in some different data folders.

Trying to make a simple app portable has become a confusing experience because of this, mainly because of the folders that only have "your xxx goes here" textfiles.

I'm not debating if it's well thought out, but was a bit worried about if it might have been a bit overthought. Reconstructing the folder layout for an app I tried making portable was a bit hard because of being a PortableAppNewbie Smile

For example, I don't understand the need for the installer / launcher sourcefolder. Because all the things spend on making the apps more compact, the installer source folder gives image and icons etc.

I am now at a point I made a small script where I input the AppName and it generates a folder layout according to the standard and adds also textfiles (with the correct name Smile

Maybe I looked at the wrong example but the example I have shows 3 folders under /app:
AppInfo, DefaultData and AppName. DefaultData has settings and mirrors the settings folder in Data.

What are required (sub) folders and what are not is something that isnt clear to me yet.

Sorry to bother.

Simeon's picture
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2006-09-25 15:15
App folder

The 3 subfolder are:
Appinfo is for an upcoming release of the menu to know about the App. It is not in use now, just done for the future.

Appname contains all the app's stuff (exes and such)

DefaultData is only needed if the App needs to have something in the main Data folder at first run. It is copied from there to /Data at first run. Its content shouldnt be altered by the user and isnt used after the first run (AFAIK).

Kope this helps...

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