RedNotebook - Journal/PIM

Submit portable freeware that you find here. It helps if you include information like description, extraction instruction, Unicode support, whether it writes to the registry, and so on.
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Andrew Lee
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#16 Post by Andrew Lee » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:31 pm

First off, as far as I can see from the changelog, Hydaral posted the original entry about RedNotebook. It wasn't as if there was a PA entry for RedNotebook, and Hydral thrashed it, which some people may be confused with after reading the first couple of posts.

Secondly, I wish to clarify that even if that was the case (which it wasn't), I think it is acceptable to edit an existing PA entry, detail the native method of portability, and leave the link to the PA version for those who can't be bothered. That's preferred over having two entries for the same app, one PA and one non-PA.
Hydral wrote:I'm with webfork here, some of us prefer to use the natively portable version (even if it's not 100% stealth), I only resort to PA.com versions if I really cannot be bothered figuring out if an app can be portableised. That's not to say your contribution is not valued, I use lots of PA.com apps, I just wish that every single one of them was natively portable, as soon as they are I will stop using the PA.com version.
I agree with what Hydral is saying here. If there is a relatively straightfoward way to make an app portable natively that doesn't involve hex editors and disassembly tools, I think that should be the first priority for TPFC. Otherwise, TPFC might as well be an alternative directory listing for PA apps! :D

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ChemZ
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#17 Post by ChemZ » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:40 pm

I'm of the opinion that the natively portable version should always be the main one in the DB and the PortableApps version should be mentioned as an alternative, if people specifically want PA.com versions then there is a whole site for that.
Agreed. Not everyone is a fan of the PortableApps version.
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#18 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:00 am

Andrew Lee wrote:I agree with what Hydral is saying here. If there is a relatively straightfoward way to make an app portable natively that doesn't involve hex editors and disassembly tools, I think that should be the first priority for TPFC. Otherwise, TPFC might as well be an alternative directory listing for PA apps! :D
I see. Thank you for the clarification, Andrew. I personally disagree as I think PFC should be about using the best tool for the job as well as promoting the most portable solution along with any alternatives. I particularly disagree when a publisher has a 'portable' link posted and PFC is second-guessing that solely for the purpose of not listing a PortableApps.com Format app as the main listing.

If there is a built-in preference against PortableApps.com Format, I think I will scale back our activities on PFC rather than ensuring new apps we release get listed and updated as new versions are made available. Since each new app we'd add would eventually be changed to a less-portable version, it seems counterproductive to take the time to add our apps. Or am I misinterpreting your post?
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#19 Post by joby_toss » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:21 am

I am a fan of portable software! In this case JTH is right, whether we like it or not! The RedNotebook PA.com release should be the main entry! Simply because it is "more" portable (I too prefer the original portable version if it provides the same level of portability as the PA version, but it is not the case here).

TPFC will not be an alternative directory listing for PA apps if we'll keep the listed apps number much higher than theirs! ;)

Just my feelings ...

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#20 Post by webfork » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:29 am

joby_toss wrote:Simply because it is "more" portable (I too prefer the original portable version if it provides the same level of portability as the PA version, but it is not the case here).
Not everyone here on the site thinks stealth = better. Some people also think the file size is important and the UnivExtract method is dramatically smaller. Does it really take 11 extra megs to delete a few tiny config files from the user folder? Really? So while there are positives and negatives to both, the tipping point for me is that the entry will be much longer by having to list both extract methods.

Additionally, I really don't think listing PortableApps entry as secondary with a note about how its more stealth is somehow minimizing or saying PortableApps versions are somehow inferior. Some people are not like Hydaral and prefer PortableApps and would only download a PA version. I personally prefer PA-format programs, but this isn't MY site -- this is a community, and both groups are represented as both are listed. We have had uTorrent written that way for months but there wasn't this lengthy argument from Haller about it. When we switched over to VLC Portable away from the problematic command line switch system that quit working, Hydaral wasn't up in arms.

John has said repeatedly (I think we're up to 7 times) on this thread that linking to the portableapps version represents a desire by the publisher to use his version rather than the current one. So I'm going to contact the author and ask if there is a preference. If he/she/they would for testing reasons or whatever prefer we use PortableApp's version, that will certainly influence my view. However, the decision -- on a topic I think is more symbolic than substantive -- will not be made by me or by Hydaral or by Andrew or by John.

This is a community and when it stops being that, it stops being a destination for people who care about software.

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#21 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:41 am

webfork wrote:Not everyone here on the site thinks stealth = better. Some people also think the file size is important and the UnivExtract method is dramatically smaller. Does it really take 11 extra megs to delete a few tiny config files from the user folder? Really? So while there are positives and negatives to both, the tipping point for me is that the entry will be much longer by having to list both extract methods.
Incidentally, the 11MB difference is purely a packaging error in the last release. We pull the standard local install for the portable version so they are normally exactly the same. We do this with nearly all our software rather than extracting from installers, which can be imperfect. We don't UPX compress RedNotebook by default as it has caused issues with some systems previously in earlier versions. I haven't run the current RedNotebook through our test suite once it has been UPX compressed to ensure it works (Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 as well as the current Ubuntu with Wine installed), so it's not done in the release.

This will be fixed in the next release or, if people are interested, I'm happy to post a revision today fixing the issue.
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#22 Post by naxalite » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:06 pm

The PA version is NOT portable. It saves the webkit folder (that contains icondatabase/WebpageIcons.db) and .gtk-bookmarks file in %UserProfile%. I suggest to PA guys to thoroughly test applications with RegShot before releasing them.

Also a X-RedNotebook winPenPack version exists here http://www.winpenpack.com/en/download.php?view.1310. I tried it and it does not leave any entries. This version is stealt. Maybe you could signal also winPenPack portable applications in the main section.

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#23 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:11 pm

naxalite wrote:The PA version is NOT portable. It saves the webkit folder (that contains icondatabase/WebpageIcons.db) and .gtk-bookmarks file in %UserProfile%. I suggest to PA guys to thoroughly test applications with RegShot before releasing them.
Eeek, sorry about that. As this is the first I've heard of it, I've posted a bug report for it along with a potential fix to the configuration that we'll still need to test.

All apps are tested with RegShot before release. But sometimes certain files don't get generated until you use a specific function in a given application (common with GTK and Qt apps in particular). Other times, a given file won't be created in version 3.4.5 but is suddenly being created in version 3.4.6 for some reason. Other times they'll be created on Windows XP but not Windows 7 or vice versa. These will often be missed for minor revisions, especially if more than one of those situations comes into play. All portable software will experience this at some point, including the other publisher you mentioned.

Next time you notice a bug like this, could you please file a bug report with us so we can fix it? We hate bugs and work very hard to fix them. We have public bug reporting and a public bug tracker so everyone can track everything at PortableApps.com.
Last edited by JohnTHaller on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#24 Post by naxalite » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:34 pm

JohnTHaller wrote: If the new version does that, why didn't you file a bug report with us (simply a forum post a PA.c) to let us know about it?
In short, because I'm not a PA user. Sometimes I follow the active topics of this forum, as now, where I noticed a discussion about RedNotebook.

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#25 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:35 pm

naxalite wrote:
JohnTHaller wrote: If the new version does that, why didn't you file a bug report with us (simply a forum post a PA.c) to let us know about it?
In short, because I'm not a PA user. Sometimes I follow the active topics of this forum, as now, where I noticed a discussion about RedNotebook.
Not a problem. I was actually in the process of editing my post because I assumed that was the case. We'll have it fixed in short order.
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#26 Post by Andrew Lee » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:07 pm

If there is a built-in preference against PortableApps.com Format, I think I will scale back our activities on PFC rather than ensuring new apps we release get listed and updated as new versions are made available. Since each new app we'd add would eventually be changed to a less-portable version, it seems counterproductive to take the time to add our apps. Or am I misinterpreting your post?
I don't have any personal bias against PA. In fact, I use a few PA apps myself (Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC etc), and I think PA is doing a wonderful job producing portable packages for a wider audience and helping to broaden the "market".

However, there are various means to achieving portability (eg. JauntePE) and the route one chooses depends on how much trouble one is willing to go through and one's level of sophistication.

Having said that, when achieving portability is pretty straightforward (as in this case), I think it will be rather silly not to detail that route as the default, regardless of what the author thinks. :D

I have mentioned this a few times before. Technically PA is still an additional wrapper that takes additional space, and will theoretically always be slower to update compared to the original app. So personally I will use the original app until it becomes too troublesome to enable portability.

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#27 Post by jendrik » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:40 pm

Hello, I am the main RedNotebook developer. I have been brought into this discussion by webfork who asked me by mail which portable version I prefer.

I am very pleased with the effort made by portableapps, portablefreeware and winpenpack (and maybe others?). It's great to see that RedNotebook can find its way to more users this way.

Of course I would prefer if RedNotebook were natively completely portable. In fact it is if portable is set to 1 in the config file, but this method leaves traces behind. So at the moment I recommend using the config file method for users who just want to save the journal and configuration files in the installation directory rather than the home directory. For the users who want portable RedNotebook to leave no traces I recommend using the portableapps or winpenpack version.

The reason I do not mention the config file method on the homepage is that is is too complicated for new users. Ideally I would like to have an option in the RedNotebook installer that allows making the installation portable. I could however not figure out a way to do that with InnoSetup yet. For this to work the installer would need to be able to optionally write portable=1 to the config file. Does anyone know how to do that? Any help in making the installer more portable is greatly appreciated. At the moment InnoSetup writes to the registry and should not do that if the portable version is desired.

If the original installer could be made more portable the other efforts would benefit from it, I think. Any thoughts about that?

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#28 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:46 pm

Andrew Lee wrote:Having said that, when achieving portability is pretty straightforward (as in this case), I think it will be rather silly not to detail that route as the default, regardless of what the author thinks. :D
Andy, with respect, that sounds like a built-in bias against it. Especially as I wouldn't really consider downloading and configuring Universal Extractor (7-Zip won't do it), pulling the files out, copying the files where you want them and the manually editing a config file that straightforward. Perhaps for us geeks, but not for non-technical or even slightly less technical users. Particularly because the publisher is linking to a pre-configured, ready to go version that requires no external tools or manual configuration to setup and is more portable than this.
I have mentioned this a few times before. Technically PA is still an additional wrapper that takes additional space, and will theoretically always be slower to update compared to the original app. So personally I will use the original app until it becomes too troublesome to enable portability.
As I've mentioned, we do as little as possible to portablize apps. When our launcher doesn't need to stick around, it doesn't, it just handles passing a command line setting, updating a config as it changes drives, etc. And the launcher is about 140KB on the disk. The config files for using it with the PA.c Platform total around 100KB. And the source code and help files 40KB. Much of that (with the exception of the launcher and its config file) can be removed by anyone concerned about 200KB. We only move things in and out of the local PC when it's absolutely necessary (as it is with RedNotebook unless you want to leave things behind on every PC you use). And even when the launcher sticks around, it uses well under 1MB of RAM while waiting for the app to close.

If PFC is primarily to appeal to the old guard that want to manually configure and manually construct things for themselves, that's fine, and that seems to be the way you'd like to gear it. And as your site, you're perfectly within your rights to do that. I was hoping it was going to adjust to be geared a bit more to attracting new users to portable software who are more concerned with getting things working and having them be fully portable (what you call 'stealth') while having the full-on manual configurations and 'kinda portable' instructions as a secondary option. After all, more users helps us all... and gets more publishers interested in making their apps available portably. :)
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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#29 Post by webfork » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:55 pm

naxalite wrote:The PA version is NOT portable. It saves the webkit folder (that contains icondatabase/WebpageIcons.db) and .gtk-bookmarks file in %UserProfile%. I suggest to PA guys to thoroughly test applications with RegShot before releasing them.
Nice catch naxalite. You're right that we should have better tested the PA version -- that's partly my fault.
jendrik wrote:If the original installer could be made more portable the other efforts would benefit from it, I think. Any thoughts about that?
Generally speaking, most users prefer natively portable programs. Thanks again for you work on this program and for coming here to the PFW forums. :)
jendrik wrote:For the users who want portable RedNotebook to leave no traces I recommend using the portableapps or winpenpack version.
Thanks for putting this to rest for us, jendrik. I now vote for the WinPenPack version:

* Actually stealth
* Smaller
* Recommended by the developer

If there are no objections, I'd love to put this to rest and edit the entry in favor of X-RedNotebook.

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Re: RedNotebook 1.1.4 Journal/PIM

#30 Post by webfork » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:42 pm

Hydaral wrote:RedNotebook is a modern journal. It includes a calendar navigation, customizable templates, export functionality and word clouds. You can also format, tag and search your entries. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.
Hydaral thanks again for posting this. Please don't let the ensuing discussion take away from the fact that we really appreciate your work on this.

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