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Interest in 'portable software' is growing rapidly. And for good reasons. Undoubtedly software authors are doing what they can to alter their applications to adhere to these new requirements.
The Radsoft XPT doesn't have to make any special concessions - it's always been portable. For over ten years.
'Portable' is usually described as follows.
- No install required. Applications are expected to (unbelievably enough) 'just work'.
- No Registry clutter. Applications do not depend on Registry settings to run and do not litter the Registry either.
- No junk files left behind. Some people don't think leaving junk files in the 'tmp' directory is a big thing but anytime an application can't clean up after itself it's a big thing.
Quite a number of software houses are attempting to create separate new 'portable' versions of their inherently non-portable software; Radsoft's XPT has been portable from Day One.
The Radsoft XPT Philosophy
The key to the Radsoft XPT philosophy has been well known for over ten years: 'no intrusion'.
- 7.19KB. That's the average size of the 150+ executables in the XPT. Read that again. That includes the performance monitors, the process managers, the disk and memory editors, the file management suite, and so forth. 7.19KB. The XPT will not only fit on a USB drive - it will still fit on an old floppy diskette!
And why? Is the XPT not 'GUI' software? Perhaps it's simply command line 'console mode' software? No way. The difference is the XPT is written properly and unfortunately a lot of the software you see is not.
- Self contained. A lot of Windows software is - frankly - a mess. It uses COM and ActiveX cruft and to run trash like this files have to be scattered all over the target hard drive. Worse: the Registry has to be trashed with sometimes thousands of settings so the various parts of the 'application' can find each other. Radsoft never entertained such stupidity.
- No settings automatically saved. A lot of applications - a lot of Microsoft applications - save settings (to the Registry) automatically on exit. This is stupid. Check out Notepad sometime - just open it and close it right away and see what it does to your Registry.
XPT applications save NOTHING unless you explicitly require it. And for all the XPT applications there is a common keyboard shortcut/mouse click combination that holds for them all - without this invocation nothing is saved anywhere.
But it gets better still. For many applications are still using legacy MFC template code and quite frankly making a mess out of your Registry. Even if you wanted settings saved you'd get nothing of the sort with the XPT.
- One Key To Rule Them All. All XPT settings - if invoked - are stored under a single key in the Registry. All of them.
- Application specific settings are stored as a 'binary' block. Yes it takes more work to make software work this way and yes most software houses feel they can't be bothered but your software will work better and faster - and of course not bloat your Registry.
- Even if you did save settings you'd need to only remove a single Registry key. But you don't have to save anything - and the XPT won't save any settings unless you specifically want to.
- All support files in same hive. Some of the more 'paraplegic' titles out there - lamely relying on the more 'paraplegic' of Microsoft 'technologies' - need to have files placed 'outside the setup' - files have to be located in a 'system' directory or some other such nonsense. Even the XPT screen savers don't have to be moved!
That means even if you 'installed' the XPT on your hard drive you'd have but a single point - the 'setup directory' - to delete and you'd be 'clean'.
It's important to point out that these portability 'features' are not in response to some sudden surge in interest for 'portable software' but have been there all along - as part of the 'Radsoft Philosophy'.
- The hard drive where software will normally reside is not the property of the software vendor. It is the (private) property of the computer owner. The software is a 'guest' on this property and must behave.
- Leaving junk files around - even in a 'tmp' directory - is 'rude' and 'inconsiderate' software that's written so sloppily it won't be invited back to a Radsoft computer again.
- Cleaning up after junky software is a pain in the arse. Several Radsoft titles (particularly in the E3 Security Kit) are written to specifically deal with bloatware of this type. There is no way Radsoft would get implicated in the very substandard programming practices they've been so outspoken against for so long.
- Any type of intrusion is 'trespassing'. This includes hiding remnants around the hard drive or the Registry to control shareware use. To put it bluntly: it's unethical.
The complete XPT package includes documentation which in terms of pure kilobytes outweighs the software it describes; the total size of the package is approximately 4 MB; remove the documentation subdirectory and the entire XPT will fit on a 1.44MB floppy diskette.
Fitting on a USB drive is easy.
Radsoft welcome the interest in 'portable' software. 'Portable' software is by definition better software. Portability requirements force lax vendors to do things right where they wouldn't have otherwise cared at all.
Portable: software should never be built any other way.
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