make inform 7 a portable app
create an installation-free version of inform 7 for windows to go alongside the existing one, for those who would like to run it direct from a USB stick and do not wish/have permissions for installations on the windows system they are using.
A version of this is now available as per http://www.intfiction.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2472&p=26002&hilit=portable#p26002 .
If there are any difficulties with it, please report problems to Nyx.
My second testversion is ready to be tested. I posted it on intfiction forum.
You will find it here:
Any help is greatly appriciated!
The home.txt fixes the 'translating the source' error. So thank you very much for that. I spent a bit of time tracing through the sources and the registry entries you mentioned. Aside from the abundance of license types and the various restrictions they each have, I don't see any real problem with making the app portable.
There are two dependencies which have to be addressed on windows as far as I know.
First is the Inform 7 "Home Directory" which defaults to the user's "My Documents" folder. In "My Documents" the application creates a folder with the name "Inform".
This folder will be created during the first start of Inform 7 on a computer.
You can change the default home directory in using a home.txt file in the same directory as the inform7.exe. You can find a short description under Help -> Windows Inform Notes.
The second issue is that Inform 7 writes keys under HKCU\Software\David Kinder\... in the registry.
I don't understand the complete process at the time I write here. But maybe the information can help you a little bit.
As a teacher, I'm using inform in a classroom of 30 students using netbooks with networked ‘user documents and settings’ folders. Project files are stored on flash drives. As it currently runs under windows, should my students loose access to the network, they can write code and save (as the projects are on their flash drives) but cannot press 'GO'. It seems that the compiler / interpreter requires using some default ‘applications settings’ folder or a similar location in ‘documents and settings’ or the ‘user’ folders as a build folder. While total ‘portability’ would be great, merely providing command line options to set the ‘build’ folder would solve the ‘write permission’ issue. Otherwise, perhaps having the ‘build/temp’ folder be the project folder – would also work and would require ‘very little’ coding. ‘Very little’ being a relative term :)
Adminemshort (Admin, Inform 7) commented
@Nyx: I've emailed, and thanks.
@emshort: please feel free to contact me.
Thank you again for your feedback.
For the time being I will wait.
Thanks to David Kinder I have the knowledge to provide a portable solution.
It is very easy to do. But it is a non-tested version. So I cannot say if it works in all cases.
If there is interest I will share my knowledge.
Andrew Plotkin commented
I am not familiar with that site. I didn't realize they provided a service that was limited to open-source apps.
There will be an open-source release of I7 someday, although I don't know when.
It seems that without permission I cannot publish my attempt to provide a PortableApp.
I made an entry in the forum of PortableApps after reading the licence under Help / Licence. It seemed for me to be free to distribute. So I took the step to publish it on the forums on PortableApps.com (http://portableapps.com/node/27825).
They checked the licence by themselves and came to this conclusion:
[Link removed, Inform 7 is not open source and may not be distributed without permission, and may not be distributed on SourceForge at all - mod Chris]
I am not an lawyer. I never meant to break any property rights. I just wanted to contribute something meaningful to the comunity. I am sorry about that.
With the help of David Kinder I worked out a portable version of Inform 7.
Now I seek a way to publish it without breaking any license issues.
Thank you very much for your help.
I will write an email to David Kinder.
Andrew Plotkin commented
I think your best bet is to email David Kinder (as the maintainer of the Windows IDE) and coordinate with him.
Is noone interested to give me a helping hand?
I feel insecure. I don't know much about licenses or what I could do to help in this topic.
Is anyone interested to test the Inform7 PortableApp?
Am I allowed to publish it by myself?
Where can I publish it?
I would give it a try by myself.
I experimented with PortableApps (http://portableapps.com/) and it seems to be easy.
Actually I made a PortableApp out of Inform7. It worked in a simple test.