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One Powerful Software For Shareware Author

Jan 24, 2008
Are you an author who apply yourself to write software or a webmaster who need to manage the software listings? There is a sort of file that is helpful and necessary for you, whether you are an author or a webmaster. That is PAD (Portable Application Description). PAD is the Portable Application Description, and it helps authors provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a standard data format that will allow webmasters and program librarians to automate program listings. PAD saves time and energy for both authors and webmasters. However, create a PAD file is not as easy as you thought. Thank for Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP), the publisher of PADGen, the powerful and easy to use utility which can creates Portable Application Descriptions (PAD) files for us simply and quickly.

PADGen can easily creates Portable Application Descriptions (PAD) files for all our applications. Use PAD to get all of the important information to our vendors and webmasters as quickly and as concisely as possible. With this information long detailed submission forms may soon be a thing of the past! Submitting the PAD file will easily allow webmasters access to all our information.

With PADGen create a PAD file, the main contents we need input and the relevant notices we should advert include:

1. PAD Information. PAD specification version that the PAD file complies with.

2. Company Information. These fields contain all of the information about your company. Some authors (for whatever reason) may wish to omit this information. It is fine if you wish to remain anonymous, but it is best to include information in every field, even if it is made up. This will ensure your PAD file is not rejected by any shareware sites. Don't forget to double check the company URL.

3. Contact Information. The author contact details is for the author of the software. Contact details are for the name of the person who should be contacted regarding this software. These can be the same. Important: Most shareware sites will use the contact information to send you emails regarding your submission so make sure this field is correct!

4. Support Information. This is for contact emails and phone numbers. If you don't have a separate email or phone for each of these it is OK to enter the same one. Again, it is best not to leave any fields blank so if you don't want to include your phone number, just include some random numbers. Be sure to include a country and area code in the phone number field and enter numbers only. For example, an Australian phone number with +61 (country code) 07 (area code) and 34589625 (phone number) should be entered as 61734589625 into the PAD phone number field. The numbers that you would type to dial directly to that number from overseas. Shareware sites are global so don't assume your phone number does not need a country code.

5. Program Information. This is for all of the information about your program. A few things to be careful of here: Don't include a 'v' in the version number field. Ensure the day field and month field are two digits long and the year field is 4 digits. Don't put a '$' in the US$ field. If your program has any limitations (e.g. a nag screen) put this information in the field. Don't make this field too long. Most shareware sites have a 50 character limit on this field. System requirements (e.g. 16Mb Ram) should be included in the field. Don't make this field too long. Most shareware sites have a 50 character limit on this field.

6. Program Descriptions. Enter your program descriptions here. You can also enter descriptions in other languages if applicable. Make sure your descriptions are not longer than the character limit. If you are using PADGen, it will automatically impose the limit. If you are just using a text editor, be very careful. Many sites will simply reject your PAD file if they find you have violated these (or any other) fields. Spend some time on your description. Some sites want a short description and a long description. Don't make the long description too long, people will generally only read the first sentence as they are looking through. This first sentence has to give them enough information to make them want to read more. A catchy description will mean more interest and more downloads. Also avoid terms that grossly over promote your program. This looks unprofessional.

7. Web Information. This is for all of the URLs. A few things to note here. Make sure your icon and screenshot images are jpg or gif (most shareware sites accept only these types of format). Your icon should be a 32x32 jpg or gif. Your download URL should point directly to a zip or exe file.

8. Permissions. Distribution permissions given by the author to vendors and other distributors.

9. Digital Signature. Optional PAD Digital Signature as per World Wide Web Consortion XMLDSIG standard specification. Last but very necessary

Finally, you should check all the information you are submitting is correct. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes and that all the URL's work correctly. Also, try to get somebody else to check it (it is easy to miss your own mistakes). If you won't want your job go to waste, well then take my advices!

Overall, PADGen is a very nice, easy to use and full-functions application to create a PAD file. It has an friendly and intuitive interface. Not only can beginners use it simply but also experienced users can also use it for advanced application. It is an ideal solution for authors and webmasters.
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