PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

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wirrerork
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PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

#1 Post by wirrerork » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:47 am

Ideally an application performs an update check itself. This is a complex feature though and is therefore not supported by all applications. PFC holds all information needed to retrieve the current version of an app for a given id number and also provides a download link. I thought that this could be used for a version check or even a semi-automatic update mechanism.

Check out PAL V3 Beta for an implementation.

Configuration (once):
- Right click and add the main executable or click Start [main menu/start] -> File -> Download programs ...
- Click [green start button/main menu] -> File -> PFC Updater.
- Download Universal Extractor if you haven't yet.
- Select "All" to see all apps and select the PFC Id for the applications main executable.

You should now be able to check if your apps are outdated. It should look somewhat like this:
Image

Updating an app can be a bit more tricky. In fact, it's not always possible.
- Backup your applications; especially backup the settings of your applications.
- Click [green start button/main menu] -> File -> PFC Updater -> Reinstall.
- Select the correct download link and accept licence.
- You may be questioned what to do with the downloaded file (exe) or you may have to confirm to overwrite the application files (zip).

Is that applicable/would you use it? Can you think of a better way to improve the mechanism? Would you like to share your experience trying it with your favorite apps from pfc?

Note: The best way to update paf file installations is to use the portableapps.com launcher.

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webfork
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Re: PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

#2 Post by webfork » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:00 pm

wirrerork wrote:Is that applicable/would you use it? Can you think of a better way to improve the mechanism? Would you like to share your experience trying it with your favorite apps from pfc?
I'm way overloaded at the moment or I would give this a lot more of my attention. Its a great effort, thanks for your work on it.
wirrerork wrote:Note: The best way to update paf file installations is to use the portableapps.com launcher.
I haven't tested the PortableApps updater yet but I so far very much like the Portable Software Updater (http://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?id=1975).

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m^(2)
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Re: PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

#3 Post by m^(2) » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:24 pm

wirrerork wrote:Ideally an application performs an update check itself.
No, ideally OS performs such checks with data provided by apps, it's unreasonable to ask everybody to add such complex function to their programs.
Unices come close, but they are not there yet either.

On topic:
1. Why integrate it with a menu? Seems pointless.
2. Command line interface would be useful for automation.
3. Using IE to get PFC ID sucks.
4. So does lack of the window in the taskbar
5. Why is the browser modal?
6. Where do I find PFC ID? It took me a while to find out that I'm supposed to click on the program icon.
7. How about automated search based on file name / folder it's located in?
8. Using IE to update sucks.

ADDED: And the buttons on the bottom are partially covered:
Image
ADDED:
9. How about making backups yourself instead of nagging users to do them?

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wirrerork
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Re: PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

#4 Post by wirrerork » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:46 am

Wow. That was more 'sucks' than I expected. Thanks for your honesty though. I made some changes trying to accommodate it.
m^(2) wrote:No, ideally OS performs such checks with data provided by apps
In my opinion this is not the case for portable apps.

A word to the IE integration: I know IE is not the first choice. But it is installed on nearly every computer. More importantly, its the only browser I know of that allows such tight integration into an app. Correct me, if I am mistaken.
m^(2) wrote:1. Why integrate it with a menu? Seems pointless.
The reason here was simply that a launcher already maintains a database of installed applications.
m^(2) wrote:3. Using IE to get PFC ID sucks.
Are you suggesting to let the user look up and enter the id manually?
m^(2) wrote:8. Using IE to update sucks.
I made some changes here. IE is only used now if the download link leads to a website.
m^(2) wrote:4. So does lack of the window in the taskbar
Fixed for the updater window. Can be configured for the main window.
m^(2) wrote:And the buttons on the bottom are partially covered
WinXP issue. Fixed.
m^(2) wrote:6. Where do I find PFC ID? It took me a while to find out that I'm supposed to click on the program icon.
Made the hint bold now.
m^(2) wrote:5. Why is the browser modal?
The app is waiting for the user to take some action. Why is that a problem?
m^(2) wrote:7. How about automated search based on file name / folder it's located in?
Unfortunately I was not sure what you mean here? Are you referring to the search field in the upper region of the dialog?
m^(2) wrote:9. How about making backups yourself instead of nagging users to do them?
Most apps could be just downloaded again. Some are important or contain settings. Automatic backup of every app each time it's updated could lead to an inappropriate pile of backups. That is what I want to avoid. Do you think I am asking to much of the user here? After all, he is just supposed to copy a directory. I do this all the time with my apps and documents. What would be the best solution to this?
m^(2) wrote:2. Command line interface would be useful for automation.
Thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: PFC version check - Suggestions welcome

#5 Post by m^(2) » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:32 am

wirrerork wrote:Wow. That was more 'sucks' than I expected. Thanks for your honesty though. I made some changes trying to accommodate it.
m^(2) wrote:No, ideally OS performs such checks with data provided by apps
In my opinion this is not the case for portable apps.
A word to the IE integration: I know IE is not the first choice. But it is installed on nearly every computer. More importantly, its the only browser I know of that allows such tight integration into an app. Correct me, if I am mistaken.
I don't know. But when I started it, some ugly ads tried to sell me a hamburger and that was really disturbing.
wirrerork wrote:
m^(2) wrote:3. Using IE to get PFC ID sucks.
Are you suggesting to let the user look up and enter the id manually?
No, I meant trying to find it automatically. From a file or directory name. Or - better - talk with Andrew to extend the database to include some metadata like executable name, so over time you'll get 99.9% fidelity.
wirrerork wrote:
m^(2) wrote:5. Why is the browser modal?
The app is waiting for the user to take some action. Why is that a problem?
I don't remember what exactly I needed it to, but at some point I wanted to look again at the previous window. Why is that a problem?
wirrerork wrote:
m^(2) wrote:7. How about automated search based on file name / folder it's located in?
Unfortunately I was not sure what you mean here? Are you referring to the search field in the upper region of the dialog?
Well, that's what I explained above, search of PFC ID.
wirrerork wrote:
m^(2) wrote:9. How about making backups yourself instead of nagging users to do them?
Most apps could be just downloaded again. Some are important or contain settings. Automatic backup of every app each time it's updated could lead to an inappropriate pile of backups. That is what I want to avoid. Do you think I am asking to much of the user here? After all, he is just supposed to copy a directory. I do this all the time with my apps and documents. What would be the best solution to this?
Well, 99% of users will ignore the advice. I suggest either removing the warning completely or backing up yourself. You could integrate with some backup script that allows differential backups, backup rotation and compression so it doesn't take so much space.

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