What to list first and why

All suggestions about TPFC should be posted here. Discussions about changes to TPFC will also be carried out here.
Message
Author
User avatar
webfork
Posts: 8408
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: US, Texas
Contact:

What to list first and why

#1 Post by webfork » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:24 am

Thread note: This is pulling from another active thread on the Inkscape entry. As a policy issue, it needs a separate thread to avoid hijack.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying anything new here, just wanted to put it down so I understand it.
JohnTHaller wrote:I believe PFC's general policy is to link the the portable version that the publisher provides/supports or instructions on how to extract a portable version from their normal version. This is the case with multiple app listings that are not stealth and have things break portably as you move machines as long as they mostly work. The PortableApps.com versions are listed as alternatives in these cases despite being demonstrably superior (stealth, fully portable and even allowing things like most recent files to continue working, etc).
Usually the first program that's listed gets supremacy and for good reason: there's only so much energy at the end of the day and placing rules and policies will frequently just gum up the works and make people feel like if their actions are unaligned with policy then they're not welcome. We are a volunteer website and we need to welcome volunteers (including Danix and Haller).

That said, I think one way to make software better generally is to give time and attention to people who are doing it well. For example, when any of the Opera users here on the site talk to someone about web browsers they're probably going to talk about Opera. You promote the things you like so they get attention. Its free marketing many of these projects need to get users and financial support. Consequently, projects that provide a best product should get more attention.

SYSTEM pointed out there's no real standard for this and I agree. However, as portablefreeware.com, its important that in every case we list the most portable options, for which there are some standards (stealth, path portability, etc.) Ultimately versions that are mostly equivalent will get decided democratically.

However:
  • Some users don't want any kind of wrapper program at all. In fact as SYSTEM points out, portable enthusiasts on our forums are populated primarily by people trying to get away from that or they would have left for PA or WPP forums.
  • As Hydaral pointed out, many here really don't want to be just a news site for PortableApps. PortableApps.com is currently doing that and it doesn't make sense to duplicate their effort.
So even though fundamentally PortableApps or WinPenPack programs may provide a better, more portable overall product, natively portable options get top status. An exception exists with the uTorrent and Notepad++ entries, we are openly saying that the WinPenPack/PortableApps options have benefits the core project doesn't. In this case, the problem is solved by full disclosure.

Did I miss anything and should we keep doing it this way?

User avatar
ChemZ
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Earth

Re: What to list first and why

#2 Post by ChemZ » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:04 am

Right on!

Don't fix something that ain't broke, I say... :wink:
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" - Douglas Adams
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." - Douglas Adams

freakazoid
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:45 pm

Re: What to list first and why

#3 Post by freakazoid » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:17 pm

Looks like you covered everything, webfork!
is it stealth? ;)

lautrepay
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:31 am

Re: What to list first and why

#4 Post by lautrepay » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:23 pm

Although there's not an official policy, there's a clear tendence to place the natively portable applications above other alternatives. This implicit rule has caused only occasional controversies.
But this is not the problem.
The problem is that, in absence of a natively portable option, TPFC has become the battlefield of a foreign fight: PortableApps.com vs. winPenPack
Must we arbitrate this dispute?
If the answer is "yes", my criteria is:
1) Put aside technical details, otherwise the discussion will be endless.
2) Respect the willingness of the author/developer. If there is an official portable version ("thissoft portable" or "x-thissoft), it must be privileged.
3) If there is no official version, or more than one is recommended, respect the willingness of the proposer. If someone suggests (or adds) "x-thissoft", then "thissoft portable" will be listed as an alternative, and vice versa.

User avatar
JohnTHaller
Posts: 621
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:44 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#5 Post by JohnTHaller » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:46 pm

As my quote out of context seems to imply that I am arguing against the current PFC policy or trying to change it, please allow me to show the actual full posting. What I was actually doing was stating the current policy (in my humble understanding of it) in response to a suggestion to change the policy.
webfork wrote:I thought that too, but I think the question should not be whether PortableApps already carries the majority of entries. We should be talking about which one is better. As with KDE and Gnome, the competition between the two projects benefits everyone and its my view that PFWC should let the best proggie win. As with the LibreOffice issue SYSTEM brought up, PFWC can switch to Inkscape Portable and then switch back to X-Inkscape again if there's a compelling reason.
JohnTHaller wrote:I don't think that's really the case overall. I believe PFC's general policy is to link the the portable version that the publisher provides/supports or instructions on how to extract a portable version from their normal version. This is the case with multiple app listings that are not stealth and have things break portably as you move machines as long as they mostly work. The PortableApps.com versions are listed as alternatives in these cases despite being demonstrably superior (stealth, fully portable and even allowing things like most recent files to continue working, etc).

The exception is listings like Pidgin where the instructions for making a portable version are quite convoluted and resulted in an only partially portable app or VLC where there is no official portable version and the old instructions result in a mostly non-portable app with major functionality like the music library being non-functional.
While my opinion would differ and I would prefer the more-portable "stealth" package, I think PFC's members preferences would be more along the lines of: listing any publisher's version of a portable app first (be it a Zip download, portable installer, a FAQ page with instructions on copying it over from a local install and changing settings, or a link to a 3rd party's site), if there is one, followed by any alternatives and their advantages but no more than a single line for a given alternative to avoid listings getting unwieldy (I think it was webfork who helped me flesh this out previously). There will always be exceptions when this method produces a horribly broken app with major functionality non-functional (Firefox, VLC, etc), of course, and those would be addressed individually. This is the way it's been for a while and it seems to work well for most members here.

This discussion arose from the one webfork linked to where X-Inkscape 0.48.2-1 [rev11] by WinPenPack will be switched to Inkscape Portable 0.48.2 by the Inkscape team, once it has been officially released, due to the fact that they are publishing it directly now. The other advantages (smaller download, smaller install size, auto and manual language switching and the other PA.c Format pluses) weren't a part of the reason behind the switch.
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

User avatar
Firewrath
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:36 pm

Re: What to list first and why

#6 Post by Firewrath » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:48 pm

Didnt read the whole thread, but ive read some of the others where people discuss what the site should use.

So i just want to add, that i feel it should work like this:

The Main listing should be the Applications Official portable build or instructions with anything else listed as an alternative.
If theres not an 'Official' portable option. Then we should list whatever offers the most portable/stealth options.

I ...will use JPE but you guys are free to do whatever. ;)
(Before my harddrive died and my net <blahblahblah> i had both PortableApps launchers and winPenPack. But. Right now the only think i have and rarely use is PAs Firefox, otherwise its JPE or natively portable.)
"It's not that I'm Evil, just that I'm unwillingly Good."
-Stolen, but oh so fitting. ^-^

It might take me a while to reply to any post or comments, I only have internet access once a week.
So if I don't reply or miss a question, this is why.

User avatar
Andrew Lee
Posts: 2250
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:19 am
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#7 Post by Andrew Lee » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:59 pm

I think my only bone is this: list publisher's portable version first, even if the app is natively portable.

IMHO, I think if the app is natively portable, but the publisher has a wrappered portable version, the native app should be priority. Methinks sometimes the publisher chooses a PA version because it is more user-friendly, main-stream and integrates nicely with the PA launcher.

But I think we on TPFC are primarily interested discovering decent ways of making apps portable, and AFAIK we all have our own preferences for launchers (even switching to better ones all the time). If the native app can be trivially make portable, then it will be a shame to put the wrappered app as priority just because it is "official".

User avatar
JohnTHaller
Posts: 621
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:44 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#8 Post by JohnTHaller » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:15 pm

Andrew Lee wrote:I think my only bone is this: list publisher's portable version first, even if the app is natively portable.

IMHO, I think if the app is natively portable, but the publisher has a wrappered portable version, the native app should be priority. Methinks sometimes the publisher chooses a PA version because it is more user-friendly, main-stream and integrates nicely with the PA launcher.

But I think we on TPFC are primarily interested discovering decent ways of making apps portable, and AFAIK we all have our own preferences for launchers (even switching to better ones all the time). If the native app can be trivially make portable, then it will be a shame to put the wrappered app as priority just because it is "official".
But if the publisher has one they have specifically linked as their 'portable version' that uses a launcher (what you call a wrapper), wouldn't it make far more sense to link that as the main entry and list an Alternatively with the steps to make a launcher-less portable version? In that case, it would also make sense to include all the requisite warnings about losing path portability, certain functionality like most recently used, whether relative paths are supported in the settings or if they'll break, what it'll leave behind, etc, of course. And the fact that it's 'unofficial' and won't be supported by the publisher.

While the more advanced members here will realize that a publisher won't support most of the 'hacks' to make an app portable, many less-technical users will not. And I'd wager there are a lot of less-technical users that use the site but don't post on the forums. Having a "no launcher" bias hold above all else seems a disservice to most users.
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

User avatar
SYSTEM
Posts: 1828
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:19 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: What to list first and why

#9 Post by SYSTEM » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:59 am

JohnTHaller wrote:
Andrew Lee wrote:I think my only bone is this: list publisher's portable version first, even if the app is natively portable.

IMHO, I think if the app is natively portable, but the publisher has a wrappered portable version, the native app should be priority. Methinks sometimes the publisher chooses a PA version because it is more user-friendly, main-stream and integrates nicely with the PA launcher.

But I think we on TPFC are primarily interested discovering decent ways of making apps portable, and AFAIK we all have our own preferences for launchers (even switching to better ones all the time). If the native app can be trivially make portable, then it will be a shame to put the wrappered app as priority just because it is "official".
But if the publisher has one they have specifically linked as their 'portable version' that uses a launcher (what you call a wrapper), wouldn't it make far more sense to link that as the main entry and list an Alternatively with the steps to make a launcher-less portable version? In that case, it would also make sense to include all the requisite warnings about losing path portability, certain functionality like most recently used, whether relative paths are supported in the settings or if they'll break, what it'll leave behind, etc, of course. And the fact that it's 'unofficial' and won't be supported by the publisher.
Usually the wrapper isn't that important. ;) Whether the natively portable or the wrappered version is better is determined in a case-by-case basis.

As I have pointed out, it's a matter of opinion, and here in TPFC most people dislike wrappers. As a result, we often find the natively portable version better even if the publisher recommends the wrappered version.

However, IMHO the wrappered version should always be listed as the main option if the publisher recommends it strongly enough. That's the case with RedNotebook:
The download links of the installer and the wrappered versions are in the same sentence. Nobody will miss them.
JohnTHaller wrote: While the more advanced members here will realize that a publisher won't support most of the 'hacks' to make an app portable, many less-technical users will not. And I'd wager there are a lot of less-technical users that use the site but don't post on the forums. Having a "no launcher" bias hold above all else seems a disservice to most users.
That's quite rare. If the publisher doesn't support running the application portably, usually he/she/it hasn't done anything for portablility. Such applications require a wrapper to be portable.
My YouTube channel | Release date of my 12th playlist: November 1, 2018

User avatar
rikylov
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:01 am
Location: Italy

Re: What to list first and why

#10 Post by rikylov » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:04 am

JohnTHaller wrote: -cutted post-
But if the publisher has one they have specifically linked as their 'portable version' that uses a launcher (what you call a wrapper), wouldn't it make far more sense to link that as the main entry and list an Alternatively with the steps to make a launcher-less portable version? In that case, it would also make sense to include all the requisite warnings about losing path portability, certain functionality like most recently used, whether relative paths are supported in the settings or if they'll break, what it'll leave behind, etc, of course. And the fact that it's 'unofficial' and won't be supported by the publisher.

While the more advanced members here will realize that a publisher won't support most of the 'hacks' to make an app portable, many less-technical users will not. And I'd wager there are a lot of less-technical users that use the site but don't post on the forums. Having a "no launcher" bias hold above all else seems a disservice to most users.
Hi John,
open letter to You:
why are you persisting in this way against alternative projects? I can't understand all this bitterness! A more collaborative approach would perhaps be the best medicine for all of us. We, "final users" of portable or made portable proggies, have the right to choose the one we consider the best for our needs. In my humbly opinion it will not be this way you propose your "creatures" that will make your project better than others. Let me say, perhaps you are afraid to lose "market share"? :)
Please don't be angry. This is not "free criticism", it is only my personal feeling while I read your posts here.
Friendly,
Riky

User avatar
webfork
Posts: 8408
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: US, Texas
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#11 Post by webfork » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:25 pm

JohnTHaller wrote:...and the fact that it's 'unofficial' and won't be supported by the publisher.

While the more advanced members here will realize that a publisher won't support most of the 'hacks' to make an app portable, many less-technical users will not. And I'd wager there are a lot of less-technical users that use the site but don't post on the forums. Having a "no launcher" bias hold above all else seems a disservice to most users.
The site should struggle to accommodate both interests. Our audience is more than the small percentage of visitors who post to the forums, but we can't alienate the hacker/tweaker tendency that to some extent creates the site.

I don't have an answer to the support question. Part of me wants to ask if this is even really an issue. With the exception of a few like Inkscape, LibreOffice, and maybe XAMPP that have the capability to take the place of major commercial apps, how highly should support availability weigh into this? In my experience, most developers don't answer support questions.

On the other side, if the developer posted and asked us to change an entry away from a version she or he doesn't want to support, we would do so. But do they REALLY need to contact me about the issue? Here's how I picture this playing out:
  • User: Hey I'm having a problem with your program
    Dev: Did you download the latest version?
    User: I'm using a portable version from PFWC.
    Dev: Get the official one and then see if the issue still happens
So while they do have a preference, the urge / need to contact websites like ours is probably low. If we just picked the one the dev selected in the first place, there's no question as to whether or not they support it.

User avatar
Danix
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:07 pm
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#12 Post by Danix » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:53 pm

rikylov wrote: Hi John,
open letter to You:
why are you persisting in this way against alternative projects?
Hi rikylov,
thank you for your defense, but sincerely we don't think that there is such a persecution against winPenPack.
Simply we are searching, as usual, to do all our best for let know our approach to portabilization, that is not necessarily wrong, but simply different.

User avatar
JohnTHaller
Posts: 621
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:44 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: What to list first and why

#13 Post by JohnTHaller » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:59 pm

rikylov wrote:why are you persisting in this way against alternative projects? I can't understand all this bitterness! A more collaborative approach would perhaps be the best medicine for all of us. We, "final users" of portable or made portable proggies, have the right to choose the one we consider the best for our needs. In my humbly opinion it will not be this way you propose your "creatures" that will make your project better than others. Let me say, perhaps you are afraid to lose "market share"? :)
Please don't be angry. This is not "free criticism", it is only my personal feeling while I read your posts here.
We have no problems and encourage people to use our software for other projects (provided they follow the licenses and have trademark and/or EULA permissions from the publisher, of course). That's why we're the only project that's 100% open source under OSI-certified licenses and with a fully open source toolchain to make apps portable. WinPenPack itself has benefited from the work we do (including the X-Inkscape package that inspired this post). I'm a bit at a loss as to why you feel that suggesting that a given publisher's official app be linked to over an unofficial one is somehow prejudice against WinPenPack, though. We don't publish Inkscape Portable, the Inkscape devs do, using our tools. If they published X-Inkscape and not Inkscape Portable, then X-Inkscape should be the main entry in that case.

Our market share is just fine, though, thanks for asking. :)
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

User avatar
rikylov
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:01 am
Location: Italy

Re: What to list first and why

#14 Post by rikylov » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:02 pm

Danix wrote:
rikylov wrote: Hi John,
open letter to You:
why are you persisting in this way against alternative projects?
Hi rikylov,
thank you for your defense, but sincerely we don't think that there is such a persecution against winPenPack.
You're welcome ;) or, in native way: grazie :lol:
Danix wrote:Simply we are searching, as usual, to do all our best for let know our approach to portabilization, that is not necessarily wrong, but simply different.
Agree! I hope this should be the general behaviour into PFC forum/site and his supporters. I love this collecting place!! Always quickly updated and easy to use.

User avatar
rikylov
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:01 am
Location: Italy

Re: What to list first and why

#15 Post by rikylov » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:17 pm

JohnTHaller wrote:We have no problems and encourage people to use our software for other projects (provided they follow the licenses and have trademark and/or EULA permissions from the publisher, of course). That's why we're the only project that's 100% open source under OSI-certified licenses and with a fully open source toolchain to make apps portable.
So, If I understand well, no more freeware portabilizations will be done in your PA? That's a pity!!(btw, sorry for my english, is not my primary language).
JohnTHaller wrote: WinPenPack itself has benefited from the work we do (including the X-Inkscape package that inspired this post).
Quite natural in a open source project! ;) . Maybe also PA has or had in the past some "inspirations" taken from WPP. :D
JohnTHaller wrote: I'm a bit at a loss as to why you feel that suggesting that a given publisher's official app be linked to over an unofficial one is somehow prejudice against WinPenPack, though. We don't publish Inkscape Portable, the Inkscape devs do, using our tools. If they published X-Inkscape and not Inkscape Portable, then X-Inkscape should be the main entry in that case.
In logical terms your thoughts is quite perfect, but let me ask my last silly question:
Does Inkscape Portable is not PA application? So, why don't You let "Inkscape members" replicate here?? 8)
JohnTHaller wrote:Our market share is just fine, though, thanks for asking. :)
Lovely, I'm happy for You all! :D

happy portable all over the world.

Post Reply