Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The next beta release of Zoundry Raven will support the ability to install as a portable application (e.g. onto a flash or other portable drive). This is a feature that was requested by many users, and I'm happy to say that we have finally finished the initial support for it. In fact, I am composing this post using Raven2Go installed on a Memorex TravelDrive. It's a bit slow when compared to running off a hard drive (obviously) but it works pretty darn well!
The changes to Raven to support Raven2Go are, for the most part, hidden from users. There are a couple of things that I should mention, however. First, there is a new page in the Raven Installer. This custom installer page simply has a checkbox that can be checked if the user wants to install Raven as a portable application. If the checkbox is checked, then no application information will be saved to the registry. In addition, when Raven is run after being installed in this way, it will run in "Portable" mode.
The other relevant change for users when Raven is in "Portable" mode is where profiles are stored by default (and where the profiles.xml registry file is located). When in portable mode, Raven looks for a "profiles" directory in the install location. For instance, if you install Raven2Go to E:\TravelApps\Raven, then the profiles.xml file and the default location for newly created profiles will be E:\TravelApps\Raven\profiles.
Everything else that's different between Raven2Go and Raven is under the covers, so users shouldn't have to worry about it. For the most part, it simply means that where we used to refer to files in your profile using absolute paths, we will now use relative paths. This should allow you to take your portable drive to different machines (where the drive letter might be different) and everything should still work.
One thing to note for existing users - I would recommend doing a clean uninstall/install of Raven2Go if you have previously been using Raven on a portable device. The uninstall step will remove all of the stuff from the registry that Raven put in there (not much, but you clearly don't want it in there). Then the re-install will be clean (little/no registry entries).