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Settings, Data and other files used by Delta2D

Although with normal usage of Delta2D it is not necessary to take care about files used by Delta2D, there are some cases where users may want to adapt Delta2D's handling of files. For this purpose this page gives a brief outline of the files used by Delta2D and some options to tweak Delta2D to your needs.

General Information

Apart from the Files created by the Delta2D installation process in the programs folder, Delta2D generally deals with two types of files:

  • Configuration files
  • Data stores

Configuration and Settings

Generally Delta2D uses two kinds of configuration files: system settings (e.g. Memory Settings) and user settings, such as 'The last project opened'. System settings are stored in the program folder and affect every user, whereas user settings by default are stored in the user profile and affect only the respective user.

If a setting is found in both the system- and the user settings, the user setting will override the system setting.

Whereas system settings are immutable in location, user settings are freely relocatable. The default place for Delta2D's user settings is the folder .Delta2D in your user profile. On normal Windows computers your user profile can be found under

C:\Documents and Settings\<your_user_name>

Configuration files do not consume much space on your hard disk.

Data Stores

Delta2D stores your imported data in so-called pools, folders with a defined structure containing your imported gel images, warping information, quantitative data, labels, etc.. A pool can become quite voluminous; up to one gigabyte or more, depending on the number and size of the gel images contained.

Every pool but the Demo Data Pool is user created and can be placed everywhere on your hard drive. A pool can moved everywhere as long as its internal structure (the subfolders and files contained) is left unchanged.

The Demo Data Pool is an exception in more than one way:

  • it is created automatically
  • it is stored in the user profile folder of every user of Delta2D
  • it will be updated if a software update of Delta2D comes with modified demo data

Customizing Delta2D

Depending on your needs you can customize some aspects of the default behaviour of Delta2D. Here are some instructions for different scenarios:

Remove existing Demo Data from User Profiles

  • Your computer is part of a domain and the user profiles are copied from the logon server to the computer every time a user logs on and copied back if the user logs off. You want to remove unessential data from the user profiles.

The following steps have to be performed for every user:

  1. Start Delta2D
  2. Open or Create another pool than the Demopool <userprofile>\.Delta2D\demopool (resp. ...\poolfor older versions):
    1. choose Project ⇒ Open...
    2. click Change Pool... in this dialog
    3. choose another pool or create a new folder, rename it and select it before closing with OK
  3. Quit Delta2D
  4. Now you can safely remove the folder Demopool from <userprofile>\.Delta2D\
  5. If you find another folder called Samples in <userprofile>\.Delta2D\, you can remove this one as well. It was created by older versions of Delta2D and contains the sample images and data used already in the demo pool.

Prevent Copying of Demo Data Into The User Profiles of New Users and Updating of Demo Data in Existing User Profiles

  • Again, your computer is part of a domain and you want the user profiles to stay lean.
  • You already have imported own gel images into the demopool and do not want the demopool to be overwritten accidentally.
  • All of your users know Delta2D well enough or you prefer playing around with your own data and therefor do not need demo data anymore.

Remove the demo data from the list of items to be updated by newer versions on an update of Delta2D:

  1. Open the Windows Explorer or any other file explorer
  2. Navigate to the installation folder of Delta2D. In most cases it will be C:\Program Files\DECODON\Delta2D
  3. There you can find the file resources.user. Open it with notepad or any other editor (NOT with a text processor like Word; they often do unforseeable things with simple text files)
  4. Remove the line demopool= (or similar) by either commenting it out with a # like the lines above, or by deleting it.
  5. Save the modified file.

From now on, your demopool will not be overwritten by newer versions, and it will not be created if a new set of user settings is created (e.g. when a new user starts Delta2D the first time). Please note, that this only works as long as updates of Delta2D are all performed into the same installation folder (in this case C:\Program Files\DECODON\Delta2D).

Set the default pool to other than userhome/demopool, or change other settings to other default

  1. You want to keep the demo pools out of the user profiles, but still want new users to start up with a demo pool you copied somewhere outside all user profiles.
  2. You have installed Delta2D on a new computer and already have a pool of data you are working on. Now you want all users starting Delta2D for the first time to start their first session with this data pool.
  3. You want any other setting like Softwareupdatefrequency or Colorscheme to be preset to a certain setting.

Since existing user settings always override system settings defined in Delta2D-installation-folder\Delta2D.ini, this modification is more interesting for new installations where user settings do not exist yet and you do not want to have to do the modifications for every user individually. Modifications at this place do not affect users with already existing Delta2D-profiles.

  1. Open your file explorer in Delta2D's installation folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\DECODON\Delta2D )
  2. Find the file Delta2D.ini and open it with your favourite editor.
  3. Add the line
    below the other lines to this file. Please note the double-backslashes in the path. Of course you can replace C:\\data\\your-demo-pool by whatever folder you want. Please make sure that the pool (in this case "your-demo-pool") exists and is a valid Delta2D-pool; otherwise Delta2D will open the demopool (resp. create a new empty one if not found) in your userhome/.Delta2D -folder.
  4. Save the modified Delta2D.ini and start Delta2D.

As for the last scenario, you can replace or complement the line project.pool.filesystem.path=C\:\\data\\your-demo-pool by any other option you copied from an existing user settings file:<userprofile>\.Delta2D\Delta2D.ini. Since the settings denotation is quite self-explanatory in most cases, it should be no problem to find the ones you want to use easily.

Set the Default User Home of Delta2D to Other Place than Userprofile

  1. You want all users to use the same set of settings.
  2. You do not want your settings to be in your user profile.
  3. You want your Delta2D configuration data to be at other place which is included in a given backup structure.
  4. You want each user to have his settings stored at other place than in his user profile

Basically there are two ways to achieve either of these goals. Basically they both do the same. Nevertheless each of them can be better suitable for one or the other purpose:

1. Delta2D Shortcut

This method is the more flexible and can be applied for scenarios 1 to 4:

Delta2D accepts configuration options on the command line as well. The most convenient way to use this feature is to include command line options in a shortcut on your desktop or your start menu.

  • For scenario 1 place the modified Delta2D shortcut on the All Users Desktop or Start menu (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users/Desktop, resp. C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\... ). If you want to make sure that your users work whith this setting, it will be a good idea to make sure that there are no other shortcuts that can be used mistakingly.
  • For scenario 4 each user should have a modified shortcut on his personal destkop or in his personal start menu: C:\Documents and Settings\<userlogin>\Desktop, resp. C:\Documents and Settings\<userlogin>\Start Menu\Programs\.... Make sure that every modified shortcut contains a different folder for the user home; otherwise it will be used by all these users.
  • On single user systems it does not matter where the modified shortcut is placet to achieve any of the four use cases.
  1. Locate the Delta2D shortcut you want to modify on your desktop or in your start menu, or create a new one.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut and choose Properties from the context menu.
  3. Switch to the tab Shortcut and click into the field Target.
  4. Add a space character and --userdir C:\data\Settings\4.3 after the command you find there, so that it looks like that:

    C:\Program Files\DECODON\Delta2D\Delta2D.exe --userdir C:\data\Settings\4.3.

    Again, you can replace C:\data\Settings\4.3 by any folder you want. Please note: if the path you want to apply here includes any spaces, you have to put it into double quotes: --userdir "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users"
  5. Close the properties dialogue with OK and use it to start Delta2D.

2. delta2d.conf

This variant affects all users immediately, and sets the user home for all users to the same place. So it can be used for scenarios 2 and 3 as well, but is best suitable to achieve scenario 1 with least effort.

  1. Open your file explorer in Delta2D's installation folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\DECODON\Delta2D).
  2. Find the file etc\Delta2D.conf and open it with your favourite editor.
  3. Modify the line default_userdir="${HOME}/.Delta2D". Of course you can replace ${HOME}/.Delta2D by whatever folder you want. The only usable variable is ${home}. Folders can be specified with absolute (C:/Mydata/mysettings) or relative (../../Mydata/mysettings) paths; please note the slashes used in the path notation in place of the back slashes.
  4. Save the modified Delta2D.conf and start Delta2D.
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