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A More Flexible Way of "Installing" Apps like PA Messages in this topic - RSS

kj
kj
Posts: 6


21 days ago
kj
kj
Posts: 6
Hi Gian! I can't believe I've been missing out on your SyMenu for so many years I've ben using PortableApps & subsequently moving it to Google Backup&Sync + Drive File Stream.

Indeed I need to move up to more techie tool which can autoexec .bat / command line parameters. Have read your manual but not sure whether I missed anything. Here's my wishlist:

1. Easier installation by way of copy paste Apps folder into a lower nested folder preferred (Windows 256 char limitation). I tried copy from SyMenusuite into another instance installed SyMenu and it doesn't work. All the apps ended up in _Trash. ^^ Time/bandwidth consumption to redo the same apps.

2. To able have different user rights access to specific Apps / Containers, running SyApps as a Google Synching service. Something akinned to Win10 AppLocker. Actually intend to run this as local service synced with other workstations to save time on redoing setting/installation/update. Google's upcoming major update unfortunately will remove this NTFS permissibility when doing away with Backup & Sync app.

3. A separate download/install window. Enabling multi-tasking that we can do other config/browse SyMenu suite apps as download/installation is in progress.

4. Some guideline on how to set Java path for non-SPSapps. I tried installing Oracle JDK Java 8 x64 and x86. However, the SPSapps still required me to install a local path JRE. Is there anything which I've missed? Is there a workaround in linking the different style of coding/location of .jar .exe files of different apps to make them run locally from a portable path?

Generally, i disable Windows Update and prefer not to mess up the OS, thereby preferring portable apps, simpler method of maintenance.

Unfortunately Jportable Launcher apps does not function as a seamless linker. Have to browse search for the .jar file each time.


5. Easier method of Auto-Update for SPSapps Less techie setup.

There is limitation with Google Drive File Stream in that it being a virtual drive. Hence can't assign NTFS permission unlike normal folders.
Resorted to Backup & Sync method for selective sync into local Google Drive with which able to do NTFS assignment.

Unfortunately PortableApps has grown to become too basic tool for me. Need spend too much time to tinker with it.

Actually what does the directories within SPSsuite do? I tested portable apps which are not from PortableApps platform (but can run portably). Created MyCustomSuite within and it appears in NEW TAB in Add New Program. I believe I would still need to do manual update for each software?


Do keep up the good work! Unfortunately I still have to install PortableApps for easy apps update maintenance.

Hence my example folder paths:
C:\Apps\PortableApps [which also is the root folder SyMenu]
>> Had to create Apps folder as Apps folder itself is actually my "Google Drive" local folder path.
>> This method makes me easier to add Items via Batch Import
>> And I include PortableApps.comPlatform.exe to Autorun Update on click.
(this the only plausible way i could think of to chain all my apps together within single launcher menu)

Thanks & God Bless for the good work you've put in!

edited by kj on 31/05/2021

edited by kj on 31/05/2021
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kj
kj
Posts: 6


21 days ago
kj
kj
Posts: 6
Gian, just to let'cha know, I discovered SyMenu via NirSoft. And this is the particular reason why would need AppLocker / protected access from apps like NirSoft from Google Backup & Sync's simple setup from standard/specified users.

Only Google Backup can disconnect synching without the need to download all offline files again unlike Google Drive Stream's virtual drive (bandwidth/time issue).
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Gianluca
Gianluca
Administrator
Posts: 1036


21 days ago
Gianluca
Gianluca
Administrator
Posts: 1036
Hi kj and welcome to the community!
Let's try to solve some of your issues.

1. Easier installation by way of copy paste Apps folder
What you tried to do (move SyMenu from a folder to another) is perfectly possible but, since SyMenu is strictly tied to the FS, you have to move everything.
In particular you lack the configuration of your installed apps. If SyMenu finds the apps but not the configuration file, it trashes them all.
The configuration file is located inside the folder [SyMenu]\Config but, I repeat, you can move SyMenu from a folder to another only if you move everything as a whole starting from the SyMenu root.

2a. To able have different user rights access to specific Apps / Containers
Yes definitely. I can't understand what your intention is precisely but you can do anything. For example you can:
- use it with different users in different PCs in the same way you can use a simple file in different PCs. It's a Windows problem not a SyMenu problem.
- cherry picking single apps for certain users and others for other users. Again it's on Windows permissions not on SyMenu.
Please try to reason in terms of authorization on the FS and everything will become possible.

2b. running SyApps as a Google Synching service
Sure you can. Again SyMenu is based on the FS, if the FS is local or synchronized or available on a network share or on a junction point, it's not a SyMenu problem. Configure in the right way Google B&S app and everything will work.

3. A separate download/install window.
I don't understand this one. You want to manually configure a program and, at the same time, download an app? It's not a good thing because, after SyMenu downloads an app, it needs to play a bit with the program configuration... exactly the same file you are playing with. You risk data losing.
I know that when you need to configure an entire menu this seems a strong limitation, but trust me, when you menu is fully configured you'll do one operation or the other.

4. Some guideline on how to set Java path for non-SPSapps
Well every scenario is a world on its own but I often spoke about Java configuration on this forum. Here for example: https://www.ugmfree.it/forum/messages.aspx?TopicID=616#post2082

5. Easier method of Auto-Update for SPSapps Less techie setup.
I know what you intend... an update that do everything by itself with a single button.
It's on the list...
Well the list is huge...
I don't even remember this topic priority...


And now the bonus tracks.

Created MyCustomSuite within and it appears in NEW TAB in Add New Program. I believe I would still need to do manual update for each software?
Yes. The SyMenu auto update (not so auto as you like anyway but still auto) is possible because every single SPS program is published and authored by an editor, a human one. Yes it's a manual, software-aided activity.
I'm currently maintaining half of the entire suite and this is the reason for which the SyMenu release rate is so low in recent times.
I'm always searching for new SPS editors... do the math!

Unfortunately I still have to install PortableApps for easy apps update maintenance.
De gustibus non disputandum est smile

Hence my example [...] this the only plausible way i could think of to chain all my apps together within single launcher menu
Ehm... please satisfy my curiosity.
Which are the programs that you only found in PA and not in SyMenu?
Because you seem to me like those guys that want to dive from the high cliff to show off and continuously make a step forward and one back... and never dive.

edited by Gianluca on 03/06/2021
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kj
kj
Posts: 6


16 days ago
kj
kj
Posts: 6
Thanks Gian! Just to clarify:

1. Easier installation by way of copy paste Apps folder
My newly installed SyMenu Suite Apps lacks any custom set config. Hence they're all trashed? I've gotten so used to copy&paste using portableapps platform and thought it would of the same. ^^ Noted there is an option of install apps from web download/offline packages.


The offline packages are which files? Is that the 210605 (daily dated) file from which to pull info from and from which will assist to copy the entire folder structure over to replicated setup?




2a. To able have different user rights access to specific Apps / Containers

Thanks! FS = Folder Structure? Yes, indeed currently structuring along these lines to keep things simple & manageable. Am planning to lockdown workstation by way of GP's Software Restriction Policy. Noticed not all apps are standardized when it comes to folder path's etc. Hence, what is the best practice with regards to path location of AppData, ProgramData, UserData, Temp/Others, Within SyMenu at lower level of folder position?



3. A separate download/install window.
Noted! Yes, that makes sense. Just have to wait out the installation. ^^


4. Some guideline on how to set Java path for non-SPSapps + Manual Update in SyMenu
Lolz, I kind of figured not fully automated. Good lord you have indeed put a lot effort in the maintenance. Some apps auto-notify on updates and SyMenu yet to. thanks for the link on Java. I re-read your manual to figure out.



>> Good to have feature: Drop a Ticket/Feedback to Developer of Apps
It will be cool to have this feature. Example: Stickies - i think some files are missing. Patched the missing using PortableApps working folder. I do appreciate very much the deep level of thought you went into designing SyMenu - the functionality, process flow.


Wishlist Apps
Seriously, after I separated out into 3 different groups, not much and you've covered much ground:
a. SyMenu Suite (auto-update)
b. PortableApps (launch platform to auto-update) wrap it within SyMenu folder path
c. MyCustom Suite (have put on lower folder after realized how the *.exe has been mapped).


CustomApps are mostly which you mentioned in your manual - .NET enabled but is not built to be installed portably. And as you said, have gone more towards looking at other apps in SyMenuSuite to replace those of MyCustom or PortableApps. Those which I can't find are mainly these:


PortableApps
  • Games mostly and is not that important kinda^^: Minesweeper, Solitaire, Tetris, etc.
  • Custom Browsers: OperaGX, Firefox + PrivateBrowsing (both had to work in hand as inhouse developed), Pencil2D (this which there is none SySuite), Pencil Project (probably replacable by draw.io / others)
  • Possibly not so in demand apps:
    - DYNDNS, CommandPrompt (dos-prompt context menu),
    - FreeFileSync (unfortunately not free for current versions which directly syncs with cloud accounts.
    - SyncTrazor/SyncThing (SyMenu) kinda techie and it just crashed one of my Win7 PC, but very stable with Win10
    - Kaspersky TDSS Killer, McAfee Stinger (antivirus dealing with malware/rootkits)
    - Others: Spybot, TinyTask, WhatChanged, WhoDat, WinMTR >> These am screening out in favor of similar apps in SyMenu



CustomApps (once have find something similar would be switching to SyMenu apps. Have switched quite some in past few days)
  • BelArc Advisor
  • AskAdmin, MouseWheel NoZoom - I think I come across a few of the developer's apps in SyMenu. www.sordum.org
  • Convert - prefer author's version to Converber https://joshmadison.com/convert-for-windows/
  • Other antivirus, mostly for WinPE offline scanning: Eset, Malwarebytes Anti Malware + Anti Rootkit + Junkware Removal, MS Defender Offline
  • DeskPins (http://efotinis.neocities.org/deskpins/index.html)
  • Disk Drill
  • Moffsoft FreeCalc (www.moffsoft.com)
  • MWsnap (fast easy screen cap)
  • PENetwork Manager (WinPE use)
  • VHD / ISO related conversion/mounting tools
  • Windows Auto-Update Manager - replacing & blocking window's default as am using Rollback RX system for snapshot
  • Windows Update / Repair kits. Installed some from SyMenu. Hopefully is almost similar features.



Other possible wishlist:

  • Lightweight Android emulators with network connectivity for running apps which are non Windows based (had came across Knox Player not tested yet for stablity/lightload)

This probably a matter of time as Google's making few big moves this year doing away with Chrome Webstore + Drive/BackupNsync merge. Portable apps still a better idea than meddling with Windows' Linux Subsystem. If there's any such emulators out there. Mostly are too heavy and for gaming.


Windows works best -- if ain't broken, don't go and fix it. Haha

edited by kj on 04/06/2021
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Gianluca
Gianluca
Administrator
Posts: 1036


16 days ago
Gianluca
Gianluca
Administrator
Posts: 1036
Well... next time it's better to separate the questions in more than one thread. Read the title and read the questions.... smile

1.

The program configuration file is one for all the programs in SyMenu: [SyMenuRoot]/Config/SyMenuItem.zip. It's not under the suite folder but under the SyMenu root.
The 20210605.sps.zip (not 210605) contains the definitions files (SPS) that give SyMenu all the information about the programs of the suite.

There is no "offline packages" concept in SyMenu.

2.
FS -> File System.
The best practice to locate AppData, ProgramData, UserData, Temp/Others for a certain program is to put the folder/s inside the program folder itself, possibly under the root folder and not deeper.

>> Good to have feature: Drop a Ticket/Feedback to Developer of Apps
As an app distributor I don't care to take care for this activity but you can drop a message to the SPS editor, the person that packages the program for SyMenu. Click on Contact reviewer, the link is available among the program information. Naturally your report must be relative to the packaging not to the program developing activity (we don't care about bug report, feature requests and so on).

Wishlist
Probably you haven't fully understood that SyMenu is wide open to users contributions.
You already built your custom suite but if you think a program is lacking in the official suite you can add it by yourself sharing it with everyone else. The game is opened to everyone.

Every new editors works are examined by me and then published.
Think about it, it could be the fastest solution to fix the holes in the suite you found wink
To accomplish this start reading this page https://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenuSPSBuilder.aspx
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