Package-to-Go and external files
The Package-to-Go utility was released with SSP version 5.3 back in 2002.
This is utility has been very helpful in helping users move their slide shows
and program from one machine to another and including all (and only) the
external files necessary. When a program is referencing external files such as
videos, slides shows, or images, by using the Packag-to-Go utility, all of these
external files are also packaged with it. Restoring a package not only restores
the original program or slide show, but all of the external files that are used
by the program or slide show. Well, mostly. One of the big caveats to this is
that the external files must be located within one of the sub-folders of the
base SSP data files folder. This restriction has been questioned, at least a few
times, by some users. So, I'll take this opportunity to explain why the
Package-to-Go utility works the way it does.
When a program or slide show references an external file, such as an image,
it needs to store a reference to the image's complete file path. This would
typically be something like "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\R-Technics\SongsShow
Plus\Images\MyImage.jpg.". However, SSP doesn't store the complete file
path in this way. Instead, it sores it like something like this "%Images%\MyImage.jpg".
When the file is referenced, the "%Images%" alias is expanded the to
the complete file path needed to access the image. This is a good thing. As you
many know, you can change the location where SSP images are located. While some
users by stick with the default folders, you may set the data path to be
something like "C:\SSP Files", in
which case the images folder would be "C:\SSP
Files\Images". By using the alias, files that are referenced on one SSP
machine, are still accessible on another SSP machine even if the location of the
data files is differenct.
While SSP attempts to encourage users to use files within its folder
structure, in some cases you are able to select files that are outside of this
structure. If you, for instance, used a file with a complete file path of "D:\Downloaded
Images\MyImage.jpg", that complete file path would be stored in the
program or slide show. There is no way to alias the path. So here is the main
If you were to package a program that included "D:\Downloaded
Images\MyImage.jpg", but then attempted to restore the package on a
system that didn't have a drive D:, where should the file go? SSP doesn't know.
If a drive D: does exist, can SSP be sure that the administrators of the
target machine really want SSP related images to be stored on drive D:. More
importantly, do the administrators of the machine want SSP related images to be
placed all over their machine or network, simply because people brought in
packaged programs and slide shows from their home machines. If a package
includes any folder that is not part of the SSP data files folder tree, then
there is a significant likely hood that the folder either doesn't (and shouldn't
exist), or that it includes a drive or UNC (network) folder that does not exist.
Because of this potentially complicated scenario, it seemed best that SSP would
restrict itself to packaging only files within its folder structure. This made
the implementation of the utility easier, and also simplifies administration of
However, I will also say that there are some plans to enhance specification
of recognized folders for data files in SSP. These enhancements, while still
adhering to a rigged enforcement of packaging only files within recognized
folders, will also enhance the flexibility of where data files should be located
and included in the Package-to-Go utility.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Lucas on
Re: Package-to-Go and external files
Thanks, That explains a lot about the package-to-go utility works... Good for future reference...