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1  Other Software / Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Testing help request for a new "portablizing" app on: October 24, 2006, 03:23:32 PM
Hi all.

This is going to be a long-winded yarn. My apologies beforehand.

The reason I'm here is due to an email exchange between mouser and myself way back in February, about me possibly joining the site as a coder. Although things didn't work out, he indicated that it would be okay to stop by occasionally and ask for help, when needed, for beta testing.

So I'm here asking for some testing and UI functionality help on a new app I've been working on over the last several months. I would like to eventually put the app up as a freeware from this site, with the possibility of a more enhanced version going as donationware from this site (nothing going to me; just as a way of saying thanks to the site for the help.) And due to my life situation, more than likely I would like to pass on the project to another of this site's coders, in the hopes that it stays alive and is developed to its full potential (unlike my other projects.)

The app itself is an attempt to help "portablize" non-portable apps. Its base functionality is the redirection of another app's registry modifications and/or special file system modifications, into a portable registry and portable file system. By special file system I mean those directories that an app typically writes to during install or during runs for user data storage: Program Files, AppData, etc. And by portable registry I mean a .reg compatible text file somewhere "relatively near" the app's executable.

The list of apps I've personally tested it with so far are: 7-Zip, CatSpy, EBB, Eraser, Firefox, FoxitReader, FreeDownloadManager, GoogleEarth, GoogleTalk, FuturePinball, HDTune, HottNotes, ImageBurn, iTunes, K-Meleon, Marine Aquarium, Maxima, MetaPad, PEView, PowerTabEditor, RegEdit, RegPad, RocketDock, Samurize, Scorched3D, SeaMonkey, SkiFree, SoulSeek, Sunbird, TabbyFile, TextToExe, WikidPad, WinAmpFull, Wink, WinMerge, and Xplorer^2. The few that installed via MS Installer failed but I'm working on a solution for that. And there's still a couple of issues with the file system redirection for a few. But most have worked fine within the limited amount of testing I was able to give for each.

Now, that might seem like enough to test with, but each app has its own way of working with the registry and file system apis, so I really need a much more diverse group of apps tested before I can even begin to say that it's working as it should. They also need to be more thoroughly tested. For instance, no one has yet tried to install and exercise an app on one system, and then take the portable results of that and run it on a completely different system. I have done this a few times via a virtual machine, but much more testing of this sort needs to be done. Also, I'm eager to get on with the more high-level functionality and more complicated portability scenarios. Again, my usage pattern is very limited; I'm only interested in getting app data out of the registry and special file system directories. But this is only one way to use the app and I don't have the necessary equipment to test it in other ways of use.

I currently have a group of 4 people from another site who have done some testing, but their tendency is to try out an app or two, quit when they encounter a problem, I'll make the necessary fix(es), and then I never hear back from them about bug resolution, new apps they tried out, etc. Between the 4 of them they've tested about a fourth of the apps that I have. And except for one guy, I have had no input with regards to how this should all work from a UI functionality standpoint. So I'm very, very frustrated right now. But I'd like to give it one more try if I can find the people willing to put in the necessary hours to help me out with the testing and UI functionality.

I really don't have the time to do it all on my own and I'm already giving just about every free moment I have in an attempt to get the app to at least a releaseable alpha state. Just writing this posting has used up about a third of the time I can give for today. And time is short and I'd like to at least see it "out in the wild" before I hand it over to some other dev (hopefully by the end of this year.)

So if you're interested and are willing to consistently devote at least a couple hours a week for the next couple of months, please post on this thread. I'll take as many of you as I can get at this point. And just fyi, we'll have to communicate during the testing via email, as I don't want to abuse mouser's invitation.

And if you're a donationcoder dev and are interested in helping out now or eventually taking over the project, please give me a shout.

Thanks for reading all of this mess. Sorry for wasting your time if you're not interested.
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