The term ‘workspace’ means different things to different people depending on the context in which it is used. In this article we shall use this term to denote the set of applications and associated data pertaining to an user’s daily activities on a single computer.
The user’s workspace is a dynamic environment. Applications are added or removed, usually using installation processes defined by the underlying operating system. At the same time, data associated with those applications are continuously modified. Workspaces tend to get fragmented over time with application files and user data spread across multiple folders in totally unrelated paths such as user profile, system and application root directories. All these factors make the workspace non-portable.
A portable workspace is one that can be moved across multiple computers without requiring repeated installation, customization and data setup. Such repetitions can be quite an overhead if your workspace includes applications that are non-trivial in nature (e.g. office suites, Web browsers, mail clients, multimedia tools and development environments to name a few). Read the rest of this entry »