Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

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Midas
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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#16 Post by Midas » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:44 am

Fine, I was just testing it. I just counted 51 entries in the page you linked -- but no 'SPS' file download that I could find...

Here's yet another suggestion: it would be great if SPSBuilder upon new file creation would offer to check online if a similar named program exists and, in case the answer is positive, offer to download said 'SPS'. What do you think?

As I already told you, I'm really only interested in SPSBuilder as a standalone package manager -- I'm sure other users will test SyMenu integration way further than I ever could...

UGMFree
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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#17 Post by UGMFree » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:27 am

Midas wrote:Fine, I was just testing it. I just counted 51 entries in the page you linked -- but no 'SPS' file download that I could find...
I thought that offering all the SPS files through SyMenu could be an adequate solution but you are right. I've just added a link to download the last SPS collection in the same page.
Midas wrote:Here's yet another suggestion: it would be great if SPSBuilder upon new file creation would offer to check online if a similar named program exists and, in case the answer is positive, offer to download said 'SPS'. What do you think?
Well it could be useful but since the name of a program could be written slightly different from another and point to the same program how could the user realize that he is working on a duplicate? Think about a person that wants to add Firefox Portable to the SyMenu collection without realizing that I've already added Mozilla Firefox Portable :)
Well it is an interesting problem and I'll surely think about that.
Midas wrote:As I already told you, I'm really only interested in SPSBuilder as a standalone package manager -- I'm sure other users will test SyMenu integration way further than I ever could...
Sure!
Thanks again Midas!

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#18 Post by UGMFree » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:06 am

Hi everyone.

I implemented some of the Midas suggestions in the new SPS Builder version (0.90).
You can download it from here http://www.ugmfree.it/download/symenu/spsbuilder.zip or directly from SyMenu.
In the next version I'll go deeper with other implementations.
Midas wrote: - File menu needs a "New SPS" entry
Done.
Midas wrote: - For easier input, fields should be sub-grouped, as in "Application Info", "Publisher Info", "SPS Metadata", etc. (with mandatory fields on top)
Done except for moving all mandatory fields on the top because they are already logically ordered. Anyway I changed the mandatory field indicator in red so it is more evident.
Midas wrote: - "Stealth" label would be clearer if changed to "Non-Stealth"
Done.
Midas wrote: - UI label strings should be moved to external file ('en-US.ini') for future localization collaboration
Well I don't think this could be an issue. I don't consider SPS Builder as a program for all users because it doesn't have an utility by itself. If it reaches only English speaking people it could be enough.
I don't speak so because I don't realize the importance of a multi language tool. By the way SyMenu is translated in 21 different languages... :shock:
Midas wrote:- Tooltips are not being displayed in v0.80 (XP Pro SP3)
It is a really strange behaviour. Check this version and tell me if the bug is solved.

Besides I implemented the About form.

I'm waiting for feedback.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#19 Post by Midas » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:29 am

Great. Tooltips are working fine now, and new features are more than welcome. :)

I take it the "Remember me" check box that shows once the user is logged in is a workaround for the plain text password issue? Another possibility would be using yapcrypt (http://rolandtoth.hu/yaP/#yaPcrypt; developed by fellow TPFC forumer tproli -- if he doesn't mind...) to encrypt passwords...

Reviewing a previous answer of yours, I suggest that, for example, the mere insertion of "firefox" in the program's name field could trigger a popup with something like "Mozilla Firefox Portable is already in SPS database. Would you like to download that info?"...

Thanks for your work and support, UGMFree. ;)

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#20 Post by UGMFree » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:09 am

The password encryption will arrive in one of the next version so yes the checkbox is a fast workaround to the plain text password.
And I haven't forgotten your other requests. They are really valuable for me!!

Your idea to avoid duplication is good but will you, as an SPS user, accept a situation like this one?

Your SPS submit: "Mozilla Thunderbird Portable"
SPS Builder alert: "Dear, I already have these programs Mozilla SeaMonkey, Mozilla Firefox Portable, Mozilla Firefox Developer, Mozilla Lightning Calendar... . Are you sure you want to submit your SPS?"
Your reply: "#%&..^°... sure I want. Are you so silly? Why you ask for that?"
SPS Builder: ehm... sorry I misjudged the word "Mozilla"

:lol:
Well mine is a little joke to explain that the problem is not so simple but you are right, the direction is right.

Stay tuned
Last edited by UGMFree on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#21 Post by Midas » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:33 am

Totally right, you are. I'm just flinging ideas here, you're the one doing the heavy lifting... :mrgreen:

bzl333
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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#22 Post by bzl333 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:39 am

owner(s?) of TPFC should $$upport a program like this (or some other one) and integrate it with TPFC and it might become the standard for updating all portable programs. and software authors will write to comply with the standard. really puts TPFC on the map.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#23 Post by webfork » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:32 pm

bzl333 wrote:owner(s?) of TPFC should $$upport a program like this (or some other one)
Nobody's making any money off this so we can't pipe anything to projects we like. I *personally* donate to projects from time to time, hence my signature. However, what I support doesn't have anything to do with PFW.
bzl333 wrote:... and integrate it with TPFC and it might become the standard for updating all portable programs. and software authors will write to comply with the standard.
I think we're a bit early in development for something like that.  Additionally, we'd need something with more than one point of failure (e.g. dev gets sick or otherwise incapacitated) to take it on as a standard.
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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#24 Post by Midas » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:28 am

Ditto.

EDIT: here's a simple batch script I put together to automatically update my local SPS repository -- copy paste this into a text file and rename it 'updater.bat', for instance (Please note that '7za.exe' and 'wget.exe' are required for this batch file to work).
  • Code: Select all

    @ECHO OFF
    TITLE SPS files Updater v0.1 (by Midas)
    COLOR 8E
    PUSHD ..\.. &:: IMPORTANT! EDIT PATH TO "SPS" PARENT DIR RELATIVE LOCATION...
    SET InstDir=%CD%
    CLS
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO You're about to update your SPS files in "%InstDir%\SPS".
    ECHO.
    ECHO WARNING: Any existing files will be OVERWRITTEN!
    ECHO (Press CTRL+C, then Y to cancel update...)
    ECHO.
    PAUSE
    DEL *.zip 2> NUL
    %~dp0wget -nd -r -e robots=off -A.zip http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenuSuiteSPS.aspx
    %~dp07za.exe e -y -o.\SPS *.zip
    DEL *.zip
    ECHO Update completed!
    TITLE SPS files Updater v0.1 (by Midas)
    PAUSE
    EXIT
    

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#25 Post by UGMFree » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:41 pm

Midas wrote: EDIT: here's a simple batch script I put together to automatically update my local SPS repository -- copy paste this into a text file and rename it 'updater.bat', for instance (Please note that '7za.exe' and 'wget.exe' are required for this batch file to work).
Wow Midas.
Fantastic solution.
I would like to give my contribution if someone else wants to obtain the updated SPS files outside SyMenu.

SyMenu uses a SOAP web service to know what the last SPS zip file is.
This WS is publicly availble at this url:
http://www.ugmfree.it/Services/SymenuSP ... nuSuiteUrl
so you can test it with your browser too.
It returns a string containing the full path to the zip file that Midas obtains with his page scraping.

Hope this could help.
Last edited by UGMFree on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#26 Post by UGMFree » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:20 am

webfork wrote:
bzl333 wrote:... and integrate it with TPFC and it might become the standard for updating all portable programs. and software authors will write to comply with the standard.
I think we're a bit early in development for something like that.  Additionally, we'd need something with more than one point of failure (e.g. dev gets sick or otherwise incapacitated) to take it on as a standard.
I think that webfork is right: the SPS thing is not a standard yet. My intention is to make it a standard but not now.
The SPS schema is raw and I often change it. It is really difficult to change it and maintain SyMenu aligned so I can only imagine what difficulties could meet a person that want to implement the SPS in this initial period.
I released SyMenu 4.00 on January 14, 4.01 on 24, and I'm planning to release the next version at the end of this week (January 31)... a little hell!!

Anyway bzl333 is right: SPS is a documenting format and it could be used for a lot of purposes even to publish content inside a web site.
If you go to this page (http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenuSuiteSPS.aspx) you can see the entire list of the SPS published until today for SyMenu. This list is not manually created by me but it is automatically filled reading the SPS files themselves. I'm using SPSs to feed SyMenu and allows it to automatically install all those programs and to feed the web site.
This demonstrates that the SPS could actually become a strong sharing vehicle for portable programs but maybe in the future. Now we all are experimenting with that.

At this time TPFC is offering to SPS its community to speak about SPS, elaborate and evolve it, even someone is experimenting with the SPS Builder to publish programs. I think that is enough for now.
Anyway my not hidden ambition is that in a near future TPFC starts supporting SPS publishing along with any program review the related SPS file. This will encourage other utility developers to implement SPS in their menus, start bars, start menu replacers and this allows SyMenu and the others to become the official TPFC launchers.

Actually there is a point in which I don't agree with webfork.
I think that SPS doesn't need any redundancy ("more than one point of failure") because if SyMenu ends it support to SPS, well this is an impossible option but it works as an example, the entire SPS library won't become useless because it will remains in use for other programs or for document the programs in web sites.
Creating an SPS file is not a favor that people make to SyMenu but it is another way to document a program for current and future uses.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#27 Post by Midas » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:47 am

UGMFree wrote:Creating an SPS file is not a favor that people make to SyMenu but it is another way to document a program for current and future uses.
  • Hence my perceived potential and adherence to it... :)

    On a related question, you answer seems to imply that the online SPS repository will keep on getting updated even if you no longer maintain it? Am I correct in assuming this?

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#28 Post by UGMFree » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:24 am

No, because among your publication of an SPS file and its inclusion in SyMenu suite there is a manual evaluation that at present I do by myself... well I don't want that someone posts trash into the suite.

If I die tomorrow no one can maintain updated the suite in my web site but the work done until that sad day :) could be downloaded and maintained by anyone else.

The SPS Builder works well even in off line mode. The idea to create a feature to tie it directly with my repository was your and I think it was a great idea but it is only a further feature that can be used or not.

Think about that.
If TPFC decides to publish the SPS file for every reviewed program the repository won't be UGMFree web site anymore but TPFC.
SyMenu will ask for to UGMFree for its own suite and to TPFC for the official TPFC suite. Well SyMenu is already structured to work with a multi-suite scenario.
SPS format is not created to be tied with UGMFree but to be decentralized.

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#29 Post by Midas » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:29 am

UGMFree wrote:SPS format is not created to be tied with UGMFree but to be decentralized.
  • I like that very much -- I guess it could be called "path independence"/"lock-in prevention"... 8)

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Re: Finally a launcher for all portable programs?

#30 Post by webfork » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:56 pm

UGMFree wrote:If I die tomorrow no one can maintain updated the suite in my web site but the work done until that sad day :) could be downloaded and maintained by anyone else.
It's more than just what you leave behind.  Newer versions of Windows -- that we should expect to come more rapidly in the years ahead -- can hamper use of your program if you suddenly stop working on it.  For example, another great launch program Pstart doesn't work well on newer versions of Windows and the authors are for unknown reasons not interested in maintaining it.
UGMFree wrote:SPS format is not created to be tied with UGMFree but to be decentralized.
Assuming that other programs implement your SPS format, there would no longer be a single point of failure.  If that occurs, it would be a positive step toward making the SPS format a standard.
UGMFree wrote:I don't want that someone posts trash into the suite
I think that's just the beginning: developing open, effective standards is a non-simple process. The creation and adoption of open formats requires some time and energy, including some idea of how to handle "junk" files, new features, security, etc.  Even the "Open Document Format" has different implementations. 

I recommend setting up a lose set of requirements for any new features or updates to the format. There are a ton of open formats out there to draw from.
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