Any Portable Advantages?

For discussions specific to the Portable version of the browser.

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ron_1
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Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by ron_1 » 2014-10-27, 20:03

** I understand that it is not recommended to use the portable version on a desktop. **

But for those users who do use it on a desktop, what, if any, advantages are there in using the portable version over the install version?

I ask because of a problem on my son's computer (post here), which is only fixed by using the portable version on his computer. It does seem to run a bit snappier than the install version.

Supernova

Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by Supernova » 2014-10-27, 20:58

Well, everything in one folder ; no file here in program files ; there in app data.
Very easy to keep several versions.

TELVM

Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by TELVM » 2014-11-03, 07:04

You can install portable on a ramdisk, which is orders of magnitude faster than any SSD. This will also spare writes to the SSD (not really mission critical but welcomed).

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by mikele1959 » 2014-11-05, 23:17

MANY advantages to use portable software, not only Palemoon...

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by Trinoc » 2014-11-07, 17:28

Portable software is the way all software should work, unless it absolutely has to be integrated as part of the operating system. You put a program and its associated files in a folder and you run the program. It runs, changing only files within its own directory (preferably a specific data area) unless told by you to store things elsewhere. When you close it, it is no longer in the system until you choose to run it again. To uninstall it you just delete the folder. To back it up you just copy the folder somewhere. To restore a backup you just copy the folder back from there. To try a new (or old, or different) version of the program you create a different folder from which the other version can be run without interfering in any way with the original.

Your operating system is not messed with (provided that the program is written to be truly portable), so if the program messes up you don't need to restore your complete OS to get rid of it (the uninstall procedures provided with software rarely properly put things back the way they were originally).

Finally, last but not least, the original justification for calling it "portable": You can run it from a folder on a USB stick on any machine where you would not otherwise have been allowed to install it (or you wouldn't want to install it, e.g. a work machine).

I try only to use portable software whenever possible. Provided that it has come from a trusted source and has passed virus checks it is fairly sure not to damage the running of the system. If I absolutely have to install something that entwines itself in the system, I always take a full image backup of the system partition first. In the event of the software messing up (which is more often than not), I don't un-install it in the intended way, but restore the complete system partition. That way any gremlins left behind should not come back to bite me later.

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by ron_1 » 2014-11-15, 02:42

I found out one disadvantage. You can't make a portable version the default browser. That's enough for me to go back to the install version.

Supernova

Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by Supernova » 2014-11-15, 11:20

I think it's possible.
I have notepad++ portable, and got it as default for .cpp and .hpp files.
Obviously you can't move the folder here and there, but it works.
So it should be possible to get PM portable as default browser, though more complicated than with install version.

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by CraigPD » 2014-11-15, 16:27


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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by ron_1 » 2014-11-15, 22:53

CraigPD wrote:
This method still works - Make Pale Moon Portable your default browser in Windows 7/8
It may; but for me, it's not worth the hassle.

bum_moon

Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by bum_moon » 2015-01-28, 11:30

Trinoc
I completely agree with your view & comments and i too use portable programs whenever possible.
I use a portable PM and regularly copy (backup) the folder as an entity. I also have another couple of portable PM's set up for what project or type of browsing i might regularly do.

When a portable version of a program i want to use is not available, I try making my own using a program i found on the net some years ago. Of late, i find that installing a program into a sandbox and then recovering (moving?) it to a drive, it generally becomes portable.

Unfortunately, most programs that 'install' place files all over the place & fill the registry with entries. Very few programs remove all these files & registry entries when it 'uninstalls' itself. These remnants can eventually cause problems and basically just bloat.

Having portable programs can make setting up a new PC or operating system easy. If the operating systems are compatible, just copy all your portable programs off the old OS and write them to the new PC or OS. Easy as.


Trinoc wrote:Portable software is the way all software should work, unless it absolutely has to be integrated as part of the operating system. You put a program and its associated files in a folder and you run the program. It runs, changing only files within its own directory (preferably a specific data area) unless told by you to store things elsewhere. When you close it, it is no longer in the system until you choose to run it again. To uninstall it you just delete the folder. To back it up you just copy the folder somewhere. To restore a backup you just copy the folder back from there. To try a new (or old, or different) version of the program you create a different folder from which the other version can be run without interfering in any way with the original.

Your operating system is not messed with (provided that the program is written to be truly portable), so if the program messes up you don't need to restore your complete OS to get rid of it (the uninstall procedures provided with software rarely properly put things back the way they were originally).

Finally, last but not least, the original justification for calling it "portable": You can run it from a folder on a USB stick on any machine where you would not otherwise have been allowed to install it (or you wouldn't want to install it, e.g. a work machine).

I try only to use portable software whenever possible. Provided that it has come from a trusted source and has passed virus checks it is fairly sure not to damage the running of the system. If I absolutely have to install something that entwines itself in the system, I always take a full image backup of the system partition first. In the event of the software messing up (which is more often than not), I don't un-install it in the intended way, but restore the complete system partition. That way any gremlins left behind should not come back to bite me later.

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-01-29, 19:32

@Trinoc: I think you confuse "self-contained" with "portable".

Let me explain my take on this difference:
  • An integrated/installed program fully integrates with the O.S. and may install libraries and data files in locations designed for this purpose of shared libs and user-account-separated data.
  • A self-contained program is a program that does not, unless where necessary, touch the O.S. - This does not necessarily mean it's not an installed program, quite the opposite. It also doesn't mean that just copying the program folder will automatically mean it has the same level of desktop integration as on the original system but generally does retain all settings and user data. But it does mean that it has all the libraries and data files it needs in your program folder, in one place. It may load system libraries if they are available, and it may remember specific system parameters and paths to use, but generally user data is kept with the program. This means these will not be user account aware. It however also means that your system will not necessarily break when you just delete the program folder (although it may "dead-end" some file associations) and it won't "leave cruft behind".
    Inherently, this also means that some installer frameworks can never be used for these applications: Installshield and the Microsoft Installer (MSI) are out, because they dump all sorts of data in \Windows %APPDATA% and the registry.
    I agree that self-contained is a very good goal to strive for for any program, although some software can never be created this way because of their nature.
  • A portable program is a program specifically designed to be both self-contained and portable. These will never integrate anything, not write to the registry or any OS folder, and should provide seamless, equal operation regardless of which system copied to. Oftentimes, portable applications are specifically configured to work from slow USB media (Pale Moon Portable is a prime example) and specifically configured to recover from changes in paths and resources on-the-fly.
  • Regularly, people use portable applications because they are self-contained. That doesn't mean it's necessarily a better choice than an installed program just because it is self-contained by design (of being a portable application). It offers conveniences and drawbacks compared to a fully installed, but not self-contained program, and you have to weigh the pros and cons if there is no self-contained version.
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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by fusion01 » 2015-03-15, 14:56

TELVM wrote:You can install portable on a ramdisk, which is orders of magnitude faster than any SSD. This will also spare writes to the SSD (not really mission critical but welcomed).
How is this done? Would be willing to try this to spare writes to my future Samsung 850 Pro I just bought.

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by megaman » 2015-03-15, 15:29

fusion01 wrote:How is this done? Would be willing to try this to spare writes to my future Samsung 850 Pro I just bought.
You can find RAM disk software by simply searching.
I recommend TechSupportAlert, since they offer tons of great software in that category, plus their view on how it works and how it affects the system.

Welcome to the Samsung Family, I sport the 850 EVO. :)
Curiosity leads to a world of experiments.

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Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by fusion01 » 2015-03-15, 15:37

oh I assumed ramdisk was a native Microsoft feature as I recall hearing about ramdisk way back on Win95/98...

I'm not new to Samsung SSDs as I own:
2 Samsung 830 drives 128gb
1 Samsung 840 120gb
2 Samsung 840 Pro 256gb
1 Samsung 840 Pro 128gb

I am new to the new 850 series though.

TELVM

Re: Any Portable Advantages?

Unread post by TELVM » 2015-04-02, 17:43

fusion01 wrote:
TELVM wrote:You can install portable on a ramdisk, which is orders of magnitude faster than any SSD. This will also spare writes to the SSD (not really mission critical but welcomed).
How is this done? Would be willing to try this to spare writes to my future Samsung 850 Pro I just bought.
- Create a ramdrive with some ramdisk software (like Dataram Ramdisk, which is free), with a 'Pale Moon' folder inside, say R:\Pale Moon\

- Extract Pale Moon Portable into R:\Pale Moon\. Create a shortcut to R:\Pale Moon\Palemoon-Portable.exe . Done, with this the browser will run from ramdisk.

- Now as unfortunately ramdisks vanish after system shutdown, we need to save the content of the ramdisk into SSD/HDD before shutdown, and load it up from SSD/HDD into ramdisk after start up. With Dataram this can be done by ticking 'save disk image at shutdown' and 'load disk image at startup':

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*** BTW I hope you're aware of the decreasing read speeds bug in the Samsung 840 and 840 EVO SSDs.

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