An application directory is a grouping of software code, help files and resources that together comprise a complete software package but are presented to the user as a single object.
They are currently used in RISC OS and the ROX Desktop, and also form the basis of the Zero Install application distribution system. Similar technology includes VMware ThinApp, RUNZ, and the NEXTSTEP/GNUstep/Mac OS X concept of application bundles. Their heritage lies in the system for automatically launching software stored on floppy disk on Acorn's earlier 8-bit micros such as the BBC Micro (the !BOOT file).
Bundling various files in this manner allows tools for manipulating applications to be replaced by tools for manipulating the file system. Applications can often be "installed" simply by dragging them from a distribution medium to a hard disk, and "uninstalled" by deleting the application directory.
Read more about Application Directory: Fixed Contents
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... This was exploited in the RISC OS disc structure by having an application directory in the root of the default disc called !Boot ... This application directory is executed (run) when the machine boots (if so configured), therefore causing its !Run file to be executed (i.e ...
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