PortableApps Platform as updater-only

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webfork
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PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#1 Post by webfork » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:50 pm

This may have been quite obvious to most users, but I figured out a way to update my apps directory with PA's launcher without moving all the programs into its subfolder system. Some may still prefer Nozavi's great updater tool for its fine-grained controls, but this had a nice progress bar.
  • Tested with PA Platform v.10.0.1
    • Download PortableApps Platform and install in a temporary folder
    • Go into the directory PortableApps Launcher\PortableApps
    • Move the PortableApps.com directory into your app directory. So for example if you wanted to update Pidgin and WorkRave, you'd put it in the same folder where \PidginPortable and \WorkravePortable resides.
    • Run PortableApps.com\PortableAppsPlatform.exe
The updater runs automatically to get and extract the latest versions.

freakazoid
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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#2 Post by freakazoid » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:20 pm

Good to know!

What if you rename the folders of some of the PA.com apps?
eg. FirefoxPortable -> Firefox

Does the updater tool still work? I'm guessing not.
is it stealth? ;)

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JohnTHaller
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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#3 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:29 am

It's much better to keep your apps within the created PortableApps directory as that way the platform can update itself without mucking things up. This is important especially since the platform needs to update itself (if an update is available) before you can update your apps. This is by design as we add new features to the updater, app store and online directory of apps.

You're right, freakazoid, that you must keep the directory names as-is so they work with the updater and app store. The directory names like FirefoxPortable, SkypePortable, uTorrentPortable, Toucan, etc match their AppIDs as stored in our database and are used to index what apps you have installed.
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Firewrath
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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#4 Post by Firewrath » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:57 am

just to comment here, the fact I can't rename my PA installs annoys me too,
I actually have at least 3 Firefox installs all named differently, none of them using the default name,
there was the 'secure firefox' PA addon I was going to try but couldn't use at all because I had changed my folder name, (this was Some time ago so I don't know if it still applys, but I figure it does)

A handy work around would be to let people point at a folder with a custom list, then have a dropdown box or something to pick a name from as to what the program is.
OR
The launcher Could read a .ini file, say the 'appinfo.ini' in 'FirefoxPortable\App\AppInfo' and get the AppID from That as to what it should be updating.
(imo, logically and from a programming point of view, this makes more sense to me,)

Edit: Also that Portable Firefox doesn't use separate profiles is annoying. Granted this Totally MY fault, but Firefox crashed and when i went to reopen it, i hit the wrong one and it wiped all the cache still on my PC from the Firefox that crashed. Something like 50 tabs i had open. Gone. Ouch. >.<
yet the Tor Browser Bundle doesnt effect my Firefox stuff at all, i can even run them both at the same time.
I know its kind of off-topic, but just wanted to add that in there. ^-^;;
Mainly cause it like just happened and im still ticked i screwed up like that, Gah. -_-

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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#5 Post by JohnTHaller » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:42 pm

Firewrath: Your main Firefox should be at FirefoxPortable. That's the one that is always auto-updated to the latest version. If you also want to keep 3.6 around for testing, that's auto-installed and updated to the latest 3.6.x release in FirefoxPortableLegacy36 (it's in the app store, too, if you enable Beta and Advanced apps in Options). If you want another version (say, 4 or 7) you can manually install those to something like FirefoxPortableLegacy4 or similar. Since they aren't in the app store/updater and won't have any more updates, you don't need to have anything updated and won't need to worry about the platform attempting to update them. If you want another copy of the latest Firefox Portable (currently 9.0.1) for testing, it's easier and faster to use the 2nd Profile option for additional profiles. That way you only have one copy of Firefox that needs updating and multiple profiles hanging off of it. If you follow those instructions, you can have as many versions and profiles as you need and still keep the current/9.x and legacy/3.6.x versions auto-updated for you.

TorBrowser uses a not-so-properly/legally modified copy of FirefoxPortable internally. They disable crash reporting, auto-updating and many other bits in violation of Mozilla's Firefox distribution guidelines, something which we don't do as we have a licensing arrangement with Mozilla. To get it to run at the same time as another copy, they used to use AllowMultipleInstances but now rename firefox.exe to something else, either of which you can do by modifying the FirefoxPortable.ini file if you wish. It's not recommended as it breaks auto-updating and interoperability with many Firefox add-ons (not a concern for TorBrowser as it is designed to not work with anything else). AllowMultipleInstances will leave a couple bits behind locally and will cause Firefox to fail to open passed links and files.
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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#6 Post by castman » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:38 pm

@JohnTHaller

That's why I see that updates of launchers are becoming even less frequent? I was freaking willing to see the updated launcher of VirtualBox 4.1.8 (the german developer) and yours DVDStyler 2.1+ but seems that most of the launchers nowadays incorporate such auto-updaters...

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Re: PortableApps Platform as updater-only

#7 Post by JohnTHaller » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:18 pm

castman wrote:That's why I see that updates of launchers are becoming even less frequent? I was freaking willing to see the updated launcher of VirtualBox 4.1.8 (the german developer) and yours DVDStyler 2.1+ but seems that most of the launchers nowadays incorporate such auto-updaters...
Not sure what you mean. We update our apps consistently (except for the brief holiday hiatus... we're processing the backlog now). None of our launchers have built-in updaters, nor will they ever. Having every app individually pinging out to see if it's updated on every launch is just messy and inefficient. That's why we have our hundreds of apps all checked at once through one single system either automatically when you launch the platform (default) or just when you decide you'd like to. Nice and easy.
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

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